Hiking around Hocking Hills in Ohio is a pure delight. So many waterfalls and caves are carved out of natural sandstone bedrock from ancient times it feels like stepping back in time. From spectacular views of gorges to walking into a park and being awestruck at the height of waterfalls that pour forth in spring, summer, and fall, there is so much to love about Hocking Hills waterfalls. Come find out where to locate these beautiful, majestic parks for the best times to view the falls.
What to See
Located in southeastern Ohio, both Hocking Hills State Park and Hocking Hills State Forest are in Hocking county, filled with beautiful rolling hills. In the Spring, water is high and the falls display their glorious colors. Want to see a high waterfall? Check out Big Spring Hollow Falls. Although the flow may not seem as massive as other falls, it is over 100’ high. Come prepared for a decent hike and climb to see this waterfall. Be sure to contact the visitor’s center or state park for information on permits to see it.
Cedar Falls is over 50 feet and boasts a pretty consistent waterflow that cascades 10 feet down following a 40 foot cliff slide. Ash Cave Falls and other waterfalls are nearly twice as tall but don’t boast the same drop or impressive view of Cedar Falls. Early Settlers believed the hemlock trees covering the gorge were Cedar Trees and the name stuck. Hidden Falls is next door with a 12-foot waterfall that adds a beautiful backdrop to this geological gem.
Don’t leave Hocking Hills until you check out the falls with a natural bridge. The combination of falls and bridge make it a must-see. Visit Rockbridge State Nature Preserve at the end of Dalton Road to start your journey. You can even arrive by canoe and pull it up to shore before hiking in from the river. The smaller of local waterfalls, Rockbridge may not have a lot of water but it flows directly under the natural bridge. After heavier rains in April is the best time to see this impressive waterfall. At 90 feet long, the bridge is the longest one in Ohio. Expect about a 30 minute walk to the falls and bridge which is straight until entering a hilly, wooded area that descends to the falls. Check out the Rock Shelter Loop that leads past a smaller waterfall.
Don’t miss Cantwell Cliffs, one of 7 hiking spots in Hocking Hills, including Old Man’s Cave, Ash Cave, and more. Each area is an experience for visitors. Tree-lined trails and geological wonders await. Waterfalls in this part of the park are magical with cliffs being over 150 feet tall.
Check out this cave settled early on and used by Native Americans for shelter. The 700-foot-long cave is a natural attraction, especially when frozen in winter. The cascading water is stopped by the frigid temperatures which makes it a year round destination. Ash Cave is a perfect trip, paved for easy access for people in wheelchairs or those with young children in trollers. This easy hike is sure to impress even the youngest visitor.