Hocking Hills is one of the most iconic regions in Ohio for good reason.
The area is completely gorgeous, dotted with stunning vistas, impressive waterfalls, and miles upon miles of trails to explore. If you’ve never had the opportunity to visit the region, consider this your guide to must-see areas.
The Atlantic Ocean covered the Hocking Hills region about 330 million years ago, depositing the sand and gravel that finally created the Blackhand sandstone the region is famous for, as well as many of the the stunning rock formations that these hikes lead to.
Grab some water, put on your hiking shoes, and get ready to hit the trails. We’ve got some Hocking Hills exploring to do, friends.
Old Man’s Cave
You can’t go to Hocking Hills and not check out the iconic Old Man’s Cave. The cave is gorgeous and fair warning, it’s the most popular hike in the park so if you visit during peak times, it will be crowded. There are several stunning spots you’ll want to check out in the area, including Upper and Lower Falls.
If you want to feel a little small, head directly to Ash Cave. The horseshoe-shaped cave is absolutely massive, measuring 700 feet from end to end, 100 feet deep from the rear cave wall to its front edge with the rim rising 90 feet high. Photos can’t do it justice and you absolutely have to see it in person to fully comprehend the scale of the cave.
As the only true cave in Hocking Hills State Park, Rock House is unique. The cave is a tunnel-like corridor that sits about midway up a 150-foot cliff. The ceiling of the cave is 25 feet high and the main corridor is 200 feet long. The cavern was eroded out of the middle zone of the Blackhand sandstone and back in the day, it was known as Robbers Roost. Robbers, horse thieves, murderers and even bootleggers earned the cave quite a reputation. It’s a beautiful spot and the hike to see the cave is about a 1/4 of a mile.
Cantwell Cliffs is located in the northern edge of Hocking Hills. It’s a remote area, but it’s well worth taking a trip off the beaten path. Years of erosion has made steep cliffs and the trail winds through some narrow passageways. One is sarcastically called the Fat Woman’s Squeeze and if you’re claustrophobic, this may not be the hike for you.
Conkles Hollow is a rocky gorge, considered one of the deepest in Ohio. There are numerous cascading waterfalls along the trail and the Lower Gorge trail has been redesigned to accommodate visitors of all abilities. The Rim Trail is a little more rugged and it’s about 4 miles long, but the views are fantastic.
For trails, maps, and other info about visiting the region, please click here.