Going Green in Hocking Hills

Elizabeth Seward is back from a stay at the Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls, and dishes on her green experience.

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It’s not easy for hotels or inns to actually be green. It takes more than leaving a sign in the bathroom requesting that guests reuse their towels. The hospitality industry is one that is inherently not green. With all of the repeat washing of sheets, the trashing of unused toiletries, the massive energy use, the abundant water consumption–a lodging destination has to go way out of its way to be eco-friendly. The Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls in the lush terrain of Hocking Hills State Park in eastern Ohio does just that. They go way out of their way.
When I walked into this adorable inn, one with cabins that extend into the near forest, it was immediately clear that their eco-policy isn’t just for show. The toilets have a low-flush option, which made me start snooping around for other green initiatives. And I found them. Dimmers were installed on the light switches throughout the corridors that led the way to the main dining hall.
The dinner menu was filled with refreshingly light, healthy, and green options. I wanted to meet the chef and when I did, the food started making more sense. Chef Anthony Schulz, a graduate of the French Culinary Institute in New York City, is passionate about using seasonal, local, and fresh ingredients. I watched as freshly picked morels (with dirt still on them–it doesn’t get more organic than that) were cooked up for dinner–and they were delicious. Dessert was Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream which, in addition to being splendid, is largely made from fresh ingredients found in the Ohio countryside. The exotic ingredients in her ice cream are imported only from green farms. With flavors like Goat Cheese with Roasted Red Cherries and Strawberry Buttermilk, it’s difficult not to praise the Inn for serving her hard-to-find-but-totally-worth-the-search ice cream.

Go ahead and click on the ‘green policies’ section of their website and you’ll find green tips from the owners useful for anyone. The best part? The entire Hocking Hills area is beautiful and devoted to being green.

Photos: Ben Britz