Based at a tiny airport built atop a reclaimed southeast Ohio coal mine, pilot Harry Sowers’ excursion-flight service has offered customers unparalleled views of Hocking Hills State Park, Wayne National Forest and beyond for the past six years.
“We start out with a 20-minute ride, and that’s over to Old Man’s Cave and Cedar Falls and back,” says Sowers, adding that his Hocking Hills Scenic Air Tours also offers 30-, 45- and 60-minute rides. “[With] the one-hour tour … we can take a flight down toward the Ohio River and back,” adds Sowers. “Everybody likes that — the boats and the barges. Once in a while, we see a sternwheeler.”
While Sowers does indulge the occasional drop-in visitor with a last-minute flight, he recommends making a reservation in advance by phone or email, especially if you’re looking for a trip in mid-October, his peak season.
“If you can imagine … every color you could think of,” says Sowers. “That’s what it looks like here in the hills.” Vinton County Airport, 66285 Airport Rd., New Plymouth 45654, 740/380-2031, hockinghills.com/airtours
Excerpted from the October, 2015 issue of Ohio Magazine.