Last week I wrote about our failed attempt at a Key West Anniversary Trip. Needless to say, I was disappointed. Ok, VERY disappointed – and mad and sad. But, after I calmed down a bit we shifted our focus and decided to take a drive down to Logan, OH to do some hiking in Hocking Hills State Park. We also stayed overnight at The Inn And Spa at Cedar Falls.
Hiking In Hocking Hills
Hocking Hills State Park is located in Logan, OH. It’s a beautiful wooded, rural area located in southeast Ohio, within driving distance of many nearby cities.
Approximate driving times from nearby cities to Hocking Hills State Park:
- Columbus, OH – 1 hour
- Dayton, OH – 2 hours
- Cincinnati, OH – 2 hours 15 minutes
- Cleveland, OH – 3 hours
- Charleston, WV – 2 hours
- Pittsburgh, PA – 3 hours 15 minutes
As with most of the park’s visitors, we came to do some hiking. The park offers numerous trails with something for everyone – easy strolls, moderate wooded paths and more vigorous hikes. There are 6 main areas for hiking in Hocking Hills State Park.
Ash Cave is a large recess cave located on the southern end of the park. The rim of this U shaped cave is over 700 ft wide and features a beautiful waterfall. There are 2 trails to choose from at this location.
- Ash Cave Gorge – This is an easy 1/4 mile path that leads into the cave and is handicapped accessible.
- Ash Cave Rim – This is a slightly more difficult, but still very moderate, path that takes you around the upper rim of the cave. This trail is about .5 miles long.
This is a large 50 ft waterfall is located near the Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls, and has the largest volume of water of any of the falls in the park. You can take a 3 mile hike from Cedar Falls to Old Mans’ Cave or a 3 mile hike from Cedar Falls south to Ash Cave.
Old Man’s Cave
Old Man’s Cave is a popular spot and therefore parking can be tricky on popular weekends. Thankfully we visited on a weekday and had no problem. From here you can take the Grandma Gatewood Trail which connects to Cedar Falls and Ash Cave. It’s a 6 mile trail end to end one way. The Old Man’s Cave trail is about 1 mile long. If you are in this area, check out the Devil’s Bathtub to view a cool natural whirpool!
Tip: If you will be bringing the kids to visit Hocking Hills State Park, bring their rainboots. They will enjoy splashing in the puddles and creeks and you will enjoy not listening to them complain about wet shoes for the rest of the day!
Conkle’s Hollow has been a State Nature Preserve since 1977. It offers cliffs that rise about 200 feet above the ground. The gorge is as narrow as 100 feet in some places and is one of the deepest in Ohio. This area is incredibly shady because of the abundance of trees so it’s great if you want to stay out of the hot midday sun. There are 2 trails at the Conkle’s Hollow Nature Preserve
- Conkle’s Hollow: This is an easy paved 1/2 mile trail (1 mile in and back) into the Conkle’s Hollow Gorge. This trail is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers so it’s great for the whole family.
- Conkle’s Hollow Rim: This is a difficult 2 1/2 mile trail around the rim of the gorge. This trail is not for anyone who has a fear of heights! The trail is narrow and has steep drop offs in some places. I wouldn’t recommend this for kids either. It was pretty muddy the day we did this trail which added an element of difficulty.
Rock House is unique as it is the only true cave in Hocking Hills State Park. It has tunnel like paths that were created by water leaking through cracks in the sandstone. The Rock House Trail is an easy 1/2 mile long. While you are there, look for small recesses in the back walls – these are believed to have been used as cooking ovens by the Native Americans.
This is one of the most remote areas of the park, located on the far north side. There is a 1 mile trail that is fairly difficult with many steep dropoffs and narrow passages. While you are there see if you can squeeze through the narrow stairway dubbed “Fat Woman’s Squeeze”! There is also a shorter, easier path through the valley of the cliffs.
Have you done any hiking in Hocking Hills State Park? If not, be sure to check it out if you are in the area. Happy Travels!
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