Hocking Hills, Ohio, offers an amazing choice of eco-adventure that many adventure-seekers long for. There are loads of trails, prehistoric caves, and waterfalls, as well as remarkable cliff-top views. There are several surrounding natural wonders that can be an inspiration to the artistic community. You have a great choice of music and art to enjoy and there are many family-friendly festivals held during the year.
In short, Hocking Hills provides a range of recreational activities in a lovely natural setting. It serves as a backdrop to good facilities and accommodations. Read on and start planning your getaway, and discover some amazing places to visit and things to do in Hocking Hills, Ohio.
1. Hocking Hills State Park
Hocking Hills State Park is a split / non-continuous state park, home to spectacular cave formations, gorges, waterfalls, and some of the best scenery in the country. The park is free for everyone, and it closes at dark. However, if you wish to hike at night, you can check out the naturalist’s program schedule. If you wish to stay in the park, there is a variety of cottages, cabins, and lodges near the park.
2. Conkle’s Hollow State Nature Preserve
Within Hocking Hills State Park you can find the Conkle’s Hollow State Nature Preserve. It is a deep gorge that is approximately only 100 feet (30.5 meters) wide at certain spots. It is said to be one of the deepest gorges in Ohio. If you are the most adventurous kind, we recommend the rim trail at the top of the cliff. This is one of the highest points in the area, and offers views of some stunning scenery. That said, you need to exercise caution when on this trail because it can be dangerous at any time of the year.
3. Rock House
Rock House is an indelible part of the Hocking Hills region, it is said to be the only “true” cave in the park. It has a tunnel-like corridor located halfway up the 150-foot (45.7-meter) cliff of Blackhand sandstone. Folklore has it that Rock House earned its reputation as a “Robbers Roost” because it was frequented by robbers, murderers, bootleggers.
4. Cedar Falls Hiking Trail
There are several hiking areas in Hocking Hills State Park. Among these, Cedar Falls has one of the largest waterfalls in the entire Hocking Hills region. You can see moss-covered cliffs and explore rugged trails. The trails are open all year round, dawn to dusk. What more could hikers ask for?! You can also find several rock formations at the falls. The trails have steps and bridges, making them pretty adventurous. You can even take your dog on the trails.
5. Ash Cave
Ash Cave is located in the southernmost part of Hocking Hills. It is, beyond doubt, the most remarkable feature of the whole park. Ash Cave is the largest, most striking recess cave in the state. You can find hemlocks and beech trees, and the valley floor gives you brilliant displays of wildflowers such as trillium, breeches, and trout lily to name a few.
6. Cantwell Cliffs
Cantwell Cliffs is famous for its deep valleys, rock shelter, and cliffs. You can choose to hike the trail or follow the narrow passageway along the valley floor. One interesting feature of these cliffs is the “fat woman’s squeeze”, a narrow passage that visitors must access to reach the bottom of the gorge. The Cantwell area is said to be the most picturesque place in Hocking County. The erosion caused by Buck Run accounts for the deep valley, steep cliffs, and rock shelter under the cliff.
7. Paul A Johnson Pencil Sharpener Museum
This unique museum came about as a home to display more than 3,000 pencil sharpeners that Paul A Johnson collected over 20 years. The museum is open from 9 am to 5 pm Monday through to Saturday, and from 11 am to 5 pm on Sundays. Entry is free, and so is parking. It’s definitely somewhere different to visit when in Hocking Hills!
8. Hocking Hills Canopy Tour
A course at the Zipline Canopy tour showcases the natural beauty of Hocking Hills. You can immerse yourself in an environment that boasts unique geographical features such as recessed caves, sandstone rock cliffs, the winding Hocking River, and not to forget the generous variety of trees and vegetation. Through each tour learn about the local geology, history, and flora and fauna. The course and trails are well-kept and highly-maintained.
9. Hocking Valley Scenic Railway
The Hocking Valley Scenic Railway is a not-for-profit tourist railroad attraction run by volunteers, operating out of Nelsonville, Ohio. It is also located near the popular Hocking Hills State Park. Each train ride lasts for about two hours. All train rides are round trips that return back to the Nelsonville Depot, unless stated otherwise. The train only stops once along the way for a very short time to prepare for the trip back to the depot. Kids usually have a great time on the train, enjoying the ride to the maximum. If, however, you think your child cannot handle a 2-hour journey, it might be best to skip this.
Food and drinks are not available on the train so you can bring your own food and non-alcoholic drinks on board. Tickets are available for purchase online as well as at the station.
11. Explore the beauty of Hocking Hills on horseback
Blue Moon Acres comes recommended if you love horses. Their horse riding mainly caters for those adults and teens with some riding experience. The well-cared-for horses and owners make for a delightful outing. Get paired with a horse that suits your temperament and set off to explore the area. Ride through the valleys, see waterfalls and stop at a stream.
Rides of different lengths can be arranged. If you love animals, you’ll be happy to see the horses are loved and looked after properly. As you ride along, your guide is open to questions about the area you pass through which makes it interesting. Many people say they will go back and ride there again.
Blue Moon Acres
Address: 18920 Keifel Rd, Laurelville, OH
Website: Blue Moon Acres
12. Kayak the Hocking River
Explore the Hocking River with Hocking Hills Canoe Livery. You’ll see the zipliners and the canopy tours as you twist and turn your way along. There are two different lengths of trips offered. Allow a minimum of two hours for the shorter river tour. Kids get to ride on their own special kayaks. After exploring the scenic river you can warm up and relax those muscles with a shower.
Browse around the gift shop and pick up some snacks and souvenirs. It’s a fun way to explore the outdoors with experienced guides. If you want more river fun, they offer camping and cabins.
Hocking Hills Canoe Livery
Address: 12789 State Route 664 S, Logan, OH
Website: Hocking Hills Canoe Livery
Have a great time at Hocking Hills, Ohio
From this list, you must have realised that Ohio’s Hocking Hills is a real adventure spot and offers a variety of activities for adventure-seekers. Be it canopy tours, ziplining, or hiking trails, you name it, it is all there in Hocking Hills. It’s a one-stop destination for fun!
This article was originally published on Aug 24, 2016
Get Trip101 in your inbox