Die-hard fall season lovers can’t wait for the smell of pumpkin spice, and a taste of apple pie, and enjoy the changing colors on autumn leaves that accompany the shoulder season between summer and winter. Autumn leafers and lovers of this season flock to Hocking Hills to enjoy hiking, trail walks, nature, pumpkin patches, and apple cider. With so much to love about fall, Hocking Hills outdoes itself with the splendor of natural beauty on full display across the region. Why not find some of the best ways to explore Hocking Hills in the fall and create some amazing memories?
When to Go
The best advice for fall lovers in Hocking Hills is to plan and take your time. Autumn generally leaves a peak in Hocking Hills around October 15. September weather offers cool nights and warm days giving the best options for a stress-free, enjoyable experience of the colors. From Maple trees to dogwoods, famous hemlocks, red oak, and more, the gorges add to the spectacle of delight that is fall in Hocking Hills. A veritable rainbow can be seen across the area. Take advantage by going from late September to mid-October before the frosty excellent winter chill sets in.
For more information, check out a fall foliage report posted by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (OH DNR).
Hit the trails to enjoy all the colors with over 25 miles to explore in Hocking Hills. Going deep in amongst the foliage and on top of cliffs to look out on the region provides the best views this time of year. Check out some of the best spots to explore Hocking Hills’ autumn leaves at their most glorious.
Grandma Gatewood Hike
Don’t miss out on an opportunity to take a free hike through Hocking Hills in the fall. Grab a warm beverage and a snack because this journey can take up to four hours. Led by a naturalist, this hike includes steps and stairways in one of the park’s more challenging hikes. See Old Man’s Cave and Cedar Falls. Hikers walk the trail, stop at cliff overlooks, and see beautiful waterfalls surrounded by fall foliage. Bring hiking boots for rough terrain and enjoy a treat of free marshmallows and s’mores at the end.
Hocking Hills Scenic Byway
Drive the beautiful terrain and see autumn leaves at their peak on the 26.4-mile journey down Route 374 in Ohio. Pass Cedar Falls, Old Man’s Cave, Conkle’s Hollow, and Cantwell Cliffs. Stop to take in the sights or keep driving. This scenic route is one of the best Midwestern drives anywhere. Rent a car or bring your own for this beautiful journey and stop at some of the local restaurants for a bite or stay overnight at a chalet or any of the many accommodations available.
Fly Through the Foliage
Autumn leaves will fly alongside you as you soar above the canopies on a Hocking Hills tour of the treetops. See waterfalls and caves along with changing leaves from a whole other perspective. The best views are from above when you soar through the trees in Hocking Hills.
At the (Pumpkin) Patch
Breathe in the fresh air on a drive to the pumpkin patch near Hocking Hills. Enjoy choosing that perfectly round, orange symbol of the fall season. Start with the Pumpkin Parade in Circleville on October 21-24. Features a parade, music, and more. Stop by the local pumpkin patch for some farm fun at Walker Farm with a corn maze, pumpkin carving, and more family activities for every age.
Prefer to see the autumn leaves from up high? Check out the wooded trails by signing up for a fall horseback ride. The Spotted Horse Ranch offers guided horseback rides on wooded trails. Enjoy fall foliage from a new perspective and feel closer to nature on some of the most beautiful trails in Ohio.