Hocking River

Hocking River

The Hocking River is a great choice for families and people who just want to get away for a while. Whether from far away or just a local wanting a quick visit, the river is 102 miles long with plenty of surrounding trees, caves, and adventure to go around. While people may come for the river, they also stay for the rappelling, shopping, dining, and nature they experience all along the Hocking River. Fishermen come for the bass and camping while others come to hike, ride ATVS along the trails and chill out by the river’s edge on a tube or kayak. The possibilities are endless. Find out why so many people are flocking to Hocking Hills to check out the beautiful, scenic and timeless river.  

Check it Out

Some of the greatest recreational activities happen on the shores of Hocking River. People travel from near and far to explore all the options. Spring is a time for seeing wildflowers and nature in bloom before the tourists begin to come in summer. Fall is another beautiful time to visit to see the changing colors along the river. Here are some great ways to check out the Hocking River by land or by water:

  • Find a place to go canoeing, kayaking, rafting, or tubing. Small watercraft are allowed in the river. Hocking Hills Adventures and Hocking Hills Canoe Livery operate trips for families and individuals to explore the river. All skill levels are welcome to try out these trips or bring their own craft
  • Check out some of the best fishing in the area. Look for river access points to launch a fishing boat at Hamley Run Road northwest of The Plains, Ohio, the Army Corps of Engineers’ Belleville Locks and Dam access point near Coolville, Ohio, and a few others along the river. Midwest fish like bass and other smaller fish populate the waters. Anglers often like to stay on shore and cast out while others like to get into the water and check out different depths. Look for fishing tours, also.

Nearby Activities and Attractions

With so much to do on and near the river, it may not occur to some visitors to check out all the rest of the nearby activities and attractions. There is so much to choose from that whittling it down might seem difficult. A few pointers can be helpful. There are both indoor and outdoor options. With indoor options, consider some museums, shops, local diners, and more that dot the landscape. This is one option for people wanting to check those places out. For people who want a little adventure but nothing crazy, there are some easy going trails to hike, walk, bike, or enjoy the views from a tour. The Hocking River flows through Rockbridge State Nature Preserve which features amazing geological formations such as natural rock bridges and zip line tours of Hocking Hills for those with a thrill-seeking mentality. 

Additional fun can be had with mega tube floats that happen on the river. This includes floating down river on tubes for up to three miles. Rent or bring your own for a day of fun in the sun on the river. Check out tube rentals ahead of time and local accommodations for more information.

Whatever people choose to do on or near Hocking River, the possibilities are endless. Nature and geology lovers will love the historical formations while adventure seekers, first time floaters on the river and experienced fishermen can all find something they will enjoy and create memories of their time in historic Hocking Hills.



  • 7am - 9pm

Park GPS Coordinates

  • Lattidude: 39.550165977513174
  • Longitude: -82.45665022376177


Hocking River History

The name of Hocking River comes from a Native American name, “Hokhokken’ or ‘Hokhochen,’ meaning ‘gourd-shaped,’ but also means ‘bottle-shaped,’ which came from the Native Americans who settled near its banks. The river starts as a stream then becomes a waterfall before flowing into a gorge. Until the 19th century, the river was known as Hockhocking River. Major tributaries to Hocking River include Margaret Creek, Sunday Creek, Rush Creek, Baldwin Run, and Hunters Run, to name a few. The Hocking River Water Trail is under development. Currently there are many places along the river to fish, canoe, kayak, and enjoy these historic waters. 

Camping Near the River

Camping is one of the most fun activities to do near the Hocking River. Guests can spend a weekend on the river with more than 80 large sites to choose from. These might include everything from fire rings to picnic tables and places to set up tents or park an RV. Swimming access points are close to the Fun Center so families with younger trailblazers can enjoy mini-golf, go-karts, a driving range, arcade, shelter homes and a place to sit down for meals. 

A: The Hocking River begins in Lancaster, Ohio. The flow pattern is south east until it reaches the Ohio River. Average depth is 3-4 feet with some areas ranging up to twelve feet deep.

A: Absolutely! People love to boat on the Hocking River. Some options include tubes, canoes, kayaks, tandem kayaks, and rafts. Several companies rent gear and equipment for the water but people often bring their own. Check requirements for motorized craft ahead of time.

A: The Hocking River is full of wonderful freshwater fish. Smallmouth bass, quillback, sauger, and other types of midwest species fill the waterways. Follow rules and regulations on where to cast lines, use a boat, how many fish are allowed, and licensing for fishing to make it enjoyable for everyone.