The winding roads of Southern Ohio are a beautiful sight in themselves and make for a delightful day trip if you’re in the mood to cruise in the car or on your motorcycle. The Hocking Hills Scenic Byway takes you through the hills and valleys of Hocking and there are plenty of other roads and highways to explore.
EXPLORE THE SCENIC DRIVES OF HOCKING HILLS
Grab one of our scenic drive maps to tour all there is to see in Hocking Hills and surrounding regions. From the Amish farms of Bremen to the Pine Groves of the State Parks, you’ll enjoy your day rips along Hocking’s roadways.
Rolling through the beautiful hills, it can feel like floating on a cloud to drive through natural beauty and storybook-like surroundings. From caves to gorges, waterfalls to ancient carvings, Hocking Hills has it all. No matter which way people drive, they are bound to be stunned by breathtaking scenery all around. Some people love to drive in spring when flowers are in bloom while others love summer days. Yet others love the fall colors and seeing leaves change as they catch final glimpses of leaves on the trees before winter’s arrival. Whatever the season, Hocking Hills has many highways and byways to traverse. Find some of the best scenic drives and how to enjoy the view.
Hocking Hills Scenic Byway
One of the best un-kept secrets, or so the joke goes, is the Hocking Hills Scenic Byway. This winding road begins off OH-56 in Hocking Hills State Park. Natural wonders abound with cliffs and caves dotted throughout the many trails that bring hikers from across the country to explore its terrain. The Hocking State Forest Headquarters was home to prisoners who were not a flight risk back in the 1930s. This little bit of history is available to those who travel through and stop to find out more about the history of the area. Traveling through is the Village of Mound Crossing. The mount is located in the back of an old farmhouse built by Hopewell Indians predating the birth of Christ. Lots of people love to stop and learn about the history of the indigenous people to the region and how they helped cultivate the area. The road ends at Ash Cave with multiple stops in-between to explore. It all begins with Hocking Hills State Park:
- Hocking Hills State Park is over 2,300 acres of cliffs, waterfalls, and gorges. People come to hike, fish, picnic and stay overnight. A visit is not complete without a visit to Old Man Cave and the lower falls
- Hocking Hills Gem Mine: stop by the mine along the drive to see a unique place with dozens of rocks and precious minerals. Kids will love to sift for rocks and maybe strike gold
- Paul A. Johnson Pencil Sharpener Museum: check out this place and walk out sharp as a…pencil. The late Ohio native Paul Johnson collected over 3,000 pencil sharpeners and now they are on display. It may seem really mundane but it is a fun way to explore something unique to the area on a drive through
- Don’t forget to stop by Lake Logan State Park with 400 acres of water to fish, boat, and enjoy sandy beaches with family. A great way to explore some natural beauty on a drive of Hocking Hills
- Rock House: a cave of wonders, there is a tunnel-like corridor midway up a 150-foot Blackhand sandstone cliff. Don’t be fooled, the House of Rock is a force of nature. With a 25 foot high ceiling, the corridor is 200 feet long and up to 30 feet wide. Small holes called Hominy holes were used as baking ovens for Native Americans using the cave in the past. Old folklore states robbers, thieves, and murderers used to hole up in the Rock House, giving it the nickname ‘Robbers Roost.’
Best Drives Around
It isn’t a scenic drive without considering some of the great smaller roads along the way. There is much to see and explore. Some travelers like to start off at Wildcat Hollow Road. This paved back road is situated between farms and large rock formations. The road is narrow and requires slow driving to enjoy it carefully. Start on Route 33 W and take exit OH-180/county road 33A. Here are a few more to check out:
- State Route 374: large curves that bend around rock formations make this a popular destination for drives. The paved road is a main highway in Hocking Hills. The route goes past John Glenn Astronomy Park and other major parks. Old Man’s Cave is visible as well as Whispering Cave. Don’t neglect visiting some of the stops along the way for some glorious hiking and scenic overlooks.
- State Route 5e6: passes through Ash Cave State Park for an easy hike for those who need to stretch their legs. Along the road is a natural spring. Watch out for sharp curves and large rock formations. There are some amazing views so bring a camera to capture the memories. Little towns dot the road so be sure not to blink or you’ll miss them!
Enjoy the View
Why do people love to go for scenic drives? They are not just a thing of the past. People still love to be enthralled and have their breath taken away by gorgeous views. Whether it is longer drives or shorter ones interspersed with some hiking or stays in cabins and tents, there are many routes to take through Hocking Hills. Taking time to enjoy these moments with family and friends will create memories for a lifetime.