A white tiny house with a red accent door sitting on a snow covered hill with snowflakes falling down

A Snowy Weekend Retreat into Hocking Hills at the Gladiola Tiny House

We'd been in need of a relaxing escape. A few inches of snow gave us even more of an excuse to stay put in the Gladiola Tiny House and enjoy our winter getaway in Ohio's Hocking Hills.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you use them, we earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you.

The park ranger sits in her truck, tucked into a parking lot on the north side of the lake. The headlights come alive as the truck creeps out across the snow covered road toward the boat ramp. As she pulls up we're occupied with carrying our kayaks to the water.

Are these two out of their minds? Stupid? Maybe both.

The ranger steps out into the cold, a curious look on her face accompanied by a large grin.

“You’re wondering if we’re crazy, aren’t you?” asks Joren.

“Yeah, pretty much.” The grin turns into a full on smile.

We talk for a bit. After examining our kayaks from a few feet away and glancing over our waterproof clothing and life vests she nods and excuses herself to return across the road.

"Just be careful."


A woman paddling a kayak across still water with a snow covered landscape of trees beyond her


We'd eagerly counted down the months, then weeks, before our weekend getaway to Hocking Hills. The snow was exactly what we’d been hoping for, and it made its arrival precisely on time during our one hour drive south from Columbus.

It's rare that we'd ever pass up an opportunity to get out on the water. One mini-adventure we had yet to experience was “snow-yaking”, so we took advantage of the weather conditions almost as soon as we arrived.


Two bright red chairs sit on the front porch of a tiny house covered in a few inches of snow


The air was cold, sure, but not unbearable. During the week leading into our trip the temperatures had steadily dropped just low enough for the band of moisture moving over Lake Logan to form into puffy white flakes, now drifting down as we paddled.

The effort of pulling ourselves across the lake was enough to keep us feeling warm. After roughly an hour of enjoying the scenery and the dead calm across the water only our fingers and toes needed some attention.

We loaded our gear back up and made the 2 minute drive back to the Gladiola Tiny House, which sits just off the main road, looking down over the lake.


The snow covered front porch of a white tiny house with a red accent door The interior of a tiny house with white shiplap walls and a pine wood ceiling and staircase leading up to a lofted bedroom

The other element of our dream weekend was the lodging.

Our fascination with tiny houses and, really, alternative living in general, started years ago. We’d been living in our 3000 square foot 19th century house, spending weekends and plenty of weekdays on a seemingly endless list of home improvement projects, repairs, and cleaning.

We started to question why we were dedicating so much of our lives to a building. So much time that could be freed up to pursue things that felt more meaningful and important to us. That's when the dream of a tiny house started to grow.

Two months after selling that house and downsizing our entire life to fit into a 673 sq. ft. apartment we were spending one weekend in a real tiny house, getting a glimpse of our dream.

The interior living room area of a tiny house with white shiplap walls a pine wood ceiling and blue gray couch cushions

The Gladiola is inviting. As soon as you step foot in you’re welcomed with plenty of light, thanks to the abundance of windows. The white shiplap walls and lightly colored pine ceiling and woodwork keep it feeling open and airy inside. The design throughout the house is both thoughtful and practical.

The living room area is raised up, allowing for extra storage space below. The U-shaped bench seating converts into a second bed. A staircase leading up to the lofted sleeping area doubles as a storage area for bags or other medium size items as well as an area for hanging coats or clothing.

There’s a small seating area for two that makes for a comfortable work station and dinette. The perfectly positioned window gives you a view out onto the water.

The bathroom features a Separett composting toilet, an adequately spacious shower insert, and what is probably the most adorably-sized sink you’ll ever find in a house. A slide out mirror was creatively hand built and installed to be used over the sink and can be pushed back into the wall so the window isn’t obstructed.

The interior of a small bathroom inside a tiny house with a composting toilet and a very small sink below a window letting in natural lightClose up on a very small sink with a bottle of hand soap resting on a window sill behind it

The kitchen ties in perfectly with the overall design of the house and maintains a modern aesthetic with a farmhouse feel.

A vertical photo showing the minimalist kitchen of a tiny house with open shelves holding dishes

Much like when we first tested out vanlife during a week long road trip through Utah and Arizona, we felt an almost immediate sense of comfort in such a small space. There's something almost therapeutic about knowing all your essentials for living can exist inside the footprint of most living rooms.

For us, it wasn’t a shock factor, but rather the kind of boost we needed to keep us excited about our own road to tiny living. The design of the Gladiola gave us some additional insight into what we might want in our own home whenever we decide to take the next step on our downsizing journey.

A tiny house bedroom with a queen size bed and a slanted pine wood ceiling

The lofted sleeping area felt comfortable, but we've always preferred designs with a first floor bedroom or those built with a gooseneck trailer to allow for standing room.

The kitchen doesn't have a built in stovetop or oven, but there's a plug-in induction cooktop that can be neatly stored after making a meal.

The absence of a dishwasher means that everything needs to be hand washed in the double sink and while there's some hanging space for coats, there isn’t a ton of storage space that feels just right as a dedicated spot for two peoples’ clothing.

While all of these things are perfectly fine for a weekend retreat and common in many tiny house designs, they solidify for us that real downsizing means making a list of your highest priorities and preparing for sacrifices in other areas.

The Gladiola’s proximity to Hocking Hills State Park means that there's an abundance of activities for visitors. The area offers everything from hiking nature trails through ancient rock formations, to canopy ziplining, climbing and rappelling, cycling, fishing, and water sports. The driving distance to the city of Logan is just over five minutes, which means that access to restaurants, groceries or a local brewery is convenient.

Mid morning sun pouring in through tall trees onto a snowy landscapeA woman smiling and walking with hands in her pockets through a snowy forested landscape in Hocking Hills Ohio

Having visited the usual attractions of Hocking Hills multiple times - Old Man’s Cave, Ash Cave, and Conkle’s Hollow to name a few - we opted to get out and enjoy the picturesque snowy landscape during our second afternoon in some less traveled spots.

We found Rock Stalls Natural Sanctuary on the map and set out on the easy, 1.1 mile loop trail that took us down into a ravine with close up access to a few waterfalls, interesting rock formations, caves and over a creek, before climbing back up to the parking area. A relatively short walk through the woods, but overall a bit of a hidden gem in the area. 

Our weekend getaway resulted in the perfect balance of time spent relaxing, enjoying nature, and building a picture for ourselves of what our own tiny living situation might look like in the future.

It was a reminder to us about how important it is to occasionally escape from the normal hustle and bustle of our daily lives, but it also provided inspiration on what it might look like if that ‘normal’ routine were replaced permanently with a simplified lifestyle - one where we’re living less for possessions, or status, and more for experiences that enrich our lives.

And maybe we actually are a little bit crazy, but kayaking on a partially frozen lake in the snow was a blast.

Looking for travel inspiration in Ohio? Follow us on Pinterest for more.

The snow covered front porch of a white tiny house with a red accent door with text overlay that says A Weekend Getaway at Gladiola Tiny House

Some of the links found on our website are affiliate links.

As Amazon Associates we earn from qualifying purchases. We may also receive a small commission at no extra cost to you through other links. Using them is a way of supporting us, helping us offset the cost of running this website, and ensuring that we’re able to continue providing free content and resources.

That makes y’all totally awesome and we truly appreciate the support!

If you've found value in our free guides, you can buy us a virtual coffee.

0 Comments
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Author Name
Comment Time

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere. uis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

ReplyCancel
Delete
Author Name
Comment Time

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere. uis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

ReplyCancel
Delete

Letters from the road

Get the inside scoop on vanlife! The costs, the highlights, and the realities. Sign up below and join our community of curious explorers.
Thank you! We'll see you in your inbox!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Follow us on instagram

A woman stands in crystal clear ankle deep water on a beach.
A man sits in the sun on the rear of a sailboat.
A waterfall surrounded by large boulders and colorful fall foliage
A woman in a red coat walks down a boardwalk toward a picturesque red covered bridge during fall
Looking down a rocky river toward a pedestrian suspension bridge with fall foliage on either bank
A scenic lighthouse on a rocky coastline catches early morning sunlight while birds fly past
Back to top
Scroll to Top Button