Lancaster, Ohio Favorites: Four Reasons Cafe and Shallenberger Preserve

A darling cafe and a fall foliage hike

I am IN LOVE with Lancaster, Ohio.  There is so much charm in the downtown.  Every single time we drive through Lancaster I beg my husband to buy me one of the big, old houses  (demanding wife, eh?).  Unfortunately, Lancaster is in the wrong part of the state!

Nonetheless, the changing of the seasons reminded me of a trip we took to Lancaster this past fall.

We started out at Four Reasons Cafe .  Everytime I stop they give my kids four reasons to come back:
1. cinnamon rolls
2. chocolate muffins
3.cookies
4. pop

IMG_20141025_120843351 (1)
Sis gives the one-eyes look of approval

Next we headed out to Shallenberger Nature Preserve.  The Preserve is run by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.  There is no cost to visit (well, alas, you pay plenty of tax dollars but I digress…).

We climbed to the top of Allen Knob (as you should).  According to the DNR website:

                                                          Everything looks better with colorful leaves around it.
 At Shallenberger, the long process of weathering produced Allen Knob, a promontory of highly resistant sandstone, and the smaller adjacent Ruble Knob. Allen Knob towers 240 feet above the surrounding countryside and provides an impressive vista of the central Ohio lowland plains to the west.
 
If I was in my right mind, I probably would have though to myself, “Oh 240 feet, that could be a little scary with the kids.  But I didn’t.  So be warned, you will be fearing for the lives of your children.  They will be fine.  It is steep, but totally doable.
                                                                          The steep hill.  O did not want his hand held.  Scary.
                                                                       Jackson was super happy about his giant leaf.
The view was great even though we were a little scared to have too long of a look because of the little ones who were following our lead.
                                                                 Not really a view, but the leaves were so pretty.
I think it would be great to come back in the winter and see the view when there are no leaves on the trees to obstruct.  However, with everything being muddy and slippery with only the leaves, I can imagine I would want spiked shoes in the winter. 😉
If you are interested in the “nature aspect”- i.e. geology and plant species, I suggest you check out the following blog.  I don’t personally know Kyle, but I appreciate all of the knowledge he gives about this area!
All in all, I would highly recommend a trip to Shallenberger.  We have so many places just outside our doorsteps in Ohio, but we don’t think to visit them nor appreciate them. I’m as focused on far away lands as many other travelers, but short day trips are so much easier with little ones.
And of course, this photo alone is why I want to get out with my family, enjoy nature, and take in new sights!
Shallenberger family
This post originally appeared on my old blog, Leah- on life, back in October 2014.

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