Hiking is an experience many people love from the time outdoors to quiet space in nature to breathe in fresh air, everyone has their reasons for heading out on the trails. Winter hikes in Hocking Hills can be just as refreshing, and challenging, as the popular summer hikes. Find out where people hike and how to check out an annual event that keeps bringing people to the region for a fun wintery climb every year.
Annual Winter Hike
The best annual event for winter hikes happens in January each year. Hikers of all ages and skill levels come from across the country to embrace the wintry landscape of Ohio’s rolling hills. Nearly 6,000 hikers attend this free event.
The route begins at the state park campground and winds through incredibly scenic and beautiful spots in and around the park, starting with Old Man’s Cave Upper Falls, led by a guide. There are other parts of the hike that are independent. Consider grabbing some cold weather gear like a pair of ice cleats and hiking boots for this 6-mile hike and joining everyone as they wander through Old Man’s Cave to Ash Cave and take the shuttle bus back in the end.
Year on year this event brings hardy hikers through icy beauty to rival a Disney movie. Be aware of the steep climbs and rugged terrain when thinking about this hike. Many restaurants and spots to eat will accommodate hikers who need to warm up with a drink and bite to eat post hike.
Old Man’s Cave
For those who just want to check out a spot for a short hike, consider this winter hike. Old Man’s Cave has some spectacular icicles and wintery scenes throughout the park. The biggest cave in the state park boasts jaw dropping natural formations. Don’t forget to bring a camera to capture some of the wintery magic. Just be mindful of icy steps heading into the cave and gear up accordingly.
Cedar Falls is another beautiful part of Hocking Hills winter hikes with a waterfall and light trek of around one miles from the parking lot to the waterfall and back again. Over 50 feet high, the waterfall is a stunning natural feature in the falls that can be combined with other trips to Old Man’s Cave or similar trails nearby.
With so many caves, it can be hard to choose. Some choose to do one or several since the trails link together. This newest winter hike in Hocking Hills is a great combo hike with Hemlock Bridge Trail for a longer walk. The cave is slick so bring good gear or ice grips for boots. The trail is around 1.5 miles round trip but takes longer in winter due to slower pace. Be prepared for dazzling features like the 105-foot waterfall cascading down the 300 foot wide entrance to the cave, iced over in wintery glory.
Take one or just try all winter hikes in Hocking Hills. Hiking Hocking Hills can help you to appreciate the glory of nature while being surrounded by icicles and interesting geological formations for a wintery blast of fun.