Don’t have a lot of time but still seeking an exciting getaway? A two-day Hocking Hills Trip may be right for you! Only 50 minutes outside of Columbus you can find 7 different hiking areas – all of which are relatively short making it easy to visit multiple stops in one day.
When To Visit
The park is open year round and each season brings its own unique beauty. When deciding when to plan a trip, it depends on what’s most important to you. Flowing waterfalls in spring, great weather in summer, foliage in fall, or icy waterfalls in the winter? It is important to remember how you will get around and what you’ll need to pack depending on the weather.
Where To Stay
There are endless lodging options within the park including log cabins, yurts, a-frames and tent camping. If you are looking for easy access, we recommend staying within the park. You will be able to access all trails while enjoying the scenic and peaceful surroundings.
Hocking Hills State Park is a great campground with 172 sites with both electric and non electric available. Naturalist programs, pool, camper cabins and group camp available. Amenities include:
- 20 Amp
- 30 Amp
- 50 Amp
- Game Room
- Dump Station
- Fire Ring
- Fishing on Property
- Laundry Facility
- Hunting Allowed (in season)
- Kid Friendly
- Open Year Round
- Shower House
- Camp Store
- Pet Friendly
- Full Hook-up
- Camping Cabin
- RV Sites
- Pool – Outdoor
Where To Hike
Day One – Cantwell Cliffs, Rock House, Conkle’s Hollow Nature Preserve
If you’re coming from Columbus, we suggest hiking in this order as Cantwell Cliffs is the farthest away from the main park area. This hike should take around 3 hours and is the perfect amount of time to wrap up by lunch.
Cantwell Cliffs is located in the northern reaches of Hocking Hills – 17 miles from Old Man’s Cave on S.R. 374. Its remote location discourages visitation, but those who travel the extra distance will not be disappointed. Many visitors proclaim the Cantwell area as the most picturesque in Hocking County.
Rock House sits halfway up a 150 foot Black Hand Sandstone cliff, carved out like other features of Hocking Hills by glacial melting millenia ago, and is approximately 25 feet high, 200 feet long, and 20-30 feet wide. Seven window-like openings allow sunlight into the cave, and several large sandstone columns support the cave’s roof structure.
Conkles Hollow State Nature Preserve is a deep, cool gorge, which is only 100 feet wide in places and is considered by some to be the deepest in Ohio. The cliffs above the gorge are about 200 feet tall. The valley floor is covered in multiple different species of plants, such as ferns, hemlock, and other wildflowers.
Day Two – Ash Cave, Cedar Falls and Old Man’s Cave
The southernmost reaches of Hocking Hills is Ash Cave and is one of the most spectacular features of the entire park. Ash Cave is the largest, most impressive recess cave in the state.
The approach to Ash Cave is through a narrow gorge lined with stately hemlocks, massive beech trees and various other hardwoods. The valley floor offers brilliant displays of wildflowers in all seasons.
Cedar Falls itself is the greatest waterfall in terms of volume in the Hocking region. Queer Creek tumbles over the face of the Blackhand sandstone displaying the awesome force of water power.
Old Man’s Cave
The most popular of all the Hocking areas is Old Man’s Cave, located on State Route 664. Here at the Upper Falls, the Grandma Gatewood Trail begins its six-mile course connecting three of the park’s areas: Old Man’s Cave to Cedar Falls to Ash Cave.
What To Do
Beyond hiking, there are many places to visit in the Hocking Hills region. If you need a break from the trails, we recommend Old Man’s General Store, Hocking Hills Winery, Brewery 33 and Milestone BBQ. Each of these unique destinations will reset you for the rest of your two-day adventure!