Cultural History

Red Rock Bluffs

Red Rock Bluffs is rich in cultural history, as well as natural history. The property captures an era during which many biologists and geologists at the Ohio State University, as well as successful Columbus businessmen and their family, were creating their own private retreats – their personal Edens – in the Hocking Hills region of Ohio. Here they could explore nature with abandon, escape the city, and renew their souls. Clear Creek Metro Park is the modern legacy of two such private retreats. In the 1940’s, Red Rock Bluffs was purchased by Carl Venard, an entomologist professor at the Ohio State University. In his later years, Carl donated the property’s historic log cabin to Camp Oty’Okwa where it still stands, now fully restored.

The Arc of Appalachia intends to donate¬†an easement to Camp Oty’Okwa to permit trail access to their campers, a nod to the historic connection between the two properties.

History and Mission of Camp Oty’Okwa.¬†Camp Oty’Okwa was founded in 1942 to serve children from Central Ohio and is privately owned by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Columbus. Throughout the camp’s history, Camp Oty’Okwa has had the philosophy of working with children, fostering an environment of positive role-modeling through small groups to help children gain confidence and self-esteem. Over 8,000 youths visited the areas managed by the camp in 2017!

Camp Oty’Okwa and the Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist Program have offered their assistance in seeking volunteers from the local community for trail installation and maintenance.