Hocking Hills Ohio
I like to think of Hocking Hills as a neat little secret for those of us that have been there. But, at the same time, I want the whole world to know about this amazing area that my family and I discovered thanks to some friends several years ago.
Located just about two hours from our home near Logan, OH, we thought this had to be worth checking out for a weekend of camping. Even if we hated it, we weren’t out a lot of travel time or money. So, what the heck. Looking back, that’s one decision I am very glad we made.
Where to stay
The Hocking Hills, primarily in Hocking County, is a beautiful area loaded with cliffs, gorges, rock shelters, and waterfalls. We stayed at the Hocking Hills State Park. Cascading waterfalls, breathtaking cliffs, deep recess caves and forestland as far as the eye can see are just a few distinctive features of the region. But there is more. Located in the picturesque sandstone region of Southeastern Ohio, Hocking Hills State Park encompasses some of the most scenic areas in the entire state. Rock outcrops, deep cool gorges, and waterfalls are found throughout the 6 main park areas.
If you aren’t a tent or RV camper but still want to spend a few nights in the area, the rental cabin selection rivals some of the big players such as Gatlinburg, TN and offers guests all of the features they could possibly want for a romantic weekend getaway to a full family reunion. For more information about cabin rental, try looking at the hockinghills.com website.
Things to do
So, what is there to do in Hocking Hills you ask? Let me answer… Everything that an outdoor enthusiast cares about.
If you like to paddle a canoe or do a little fishing, the area has plenty of options for that. Places such as Hocking Hills Adventures or Hocking Hills Canoe Livery offer several opportunities to rent a canoe and enjoy some time on the water.
Horseback riding is another thing that may be of interest to visitors and the area has several opportunities to do this as well. In addition to opportunities to ride at places like the State Park, several local businesses provide horseback fun as well. For example, Equestrian Ridge Farm offers guided horseback tours for small groups, families, or individuals, and even accepts online reservations.
Still not quite enough adventure for you? Well, climb into the forest canopy and enjoy a little zip lining. Hocking Hills Canopy Tours along with a few other companies, offer this unique and exhilarating way to see the beautiful eco-system that makes up the area. With adventure opportunities for children as well as adults, there is something for everyone and you will have a blast. Heck, you may even want to try out an off road Segway tour if heights aren’t your thing.
Along with ATV rides and rentals, small airplane tours, naturalist led workshops and other things, you can see that the area is just packed full of excitement.
But, let’s not forget my personal favorite thing to do in the Hocking Hills. See the natural scenic beauty and hear the history of the area. One of my absolute favorite things in the area is the hiking trails and stories that revolve around Old Man’s Cave or other local park areas. Old Man’s Cave derives its name from the hermit Richard Rowe who lived in the large recess cave of the gorge. His family moved to the Ohio River Valley around 1796 from the Cumberland Mountains of Tennessee to establish a trading post. He and his two dogs traveled through Ohio along the Scioto River in search of game. On one side trip up Salt Creek, he found the Hocking Region. Rowe lived out his life in the area and is buried beneath the ledge of the main recess cave. Earlier residents of the cave were two brothers, Nathaniel and Pat Rayon, who came to the area in 1795. They built a permanent cabin 30 feet north of the cave entrance. Both brothers are buried in or near the cave. Their cabin was later dismantled and relocated on the nearby Iles farm to be used as a tobacco drying house.
Today you can explore this area located on State Route 664 that Mr. Rowe called home and wind your way through any of a number of great trails with scenic waterfalls and cliffs surrounding you as you take a leisurely or fast paced approach to your own adventure. Believe me, you will not be disappointed.
How to get there
All of the fun is located just a few minutes outside Logan, OH but make sure to do a little Internet research before you go to see all of the surrounding things to see and do for a complete day, weekend, week, or even longer in The Hocking Hills.
To get to Hocking Hills State Park:
From Cleveland, Ohio:
Take I-71 South to Columbus.
Take 270 East toward Wheeling, WV to U.S. 33 East (Lancaster Exit)
Travel East to Logan, Exit on 664 South.
From Columbus, Ohio:
Take U.S. 33 East through Lancaster to Logan, Ohio and exit onto State Route 664 South
From Cincinnati, Ohio:
Take I-71 North towards Columbus.
Watch for and take State Route 56 East through Mt. Sterling.
Continue on State Route 56 East through Circleville and Laurelville to South Bloomingville, Ohio.
In South Bloomingville take State Route 664 North approximately 4 miles to the park.
From Toledo, Ohio:
Take I –75 South to Findlay, get on State Route 23 to Columbus.
Take I-270 East towards Wheeling to U.S. 33 East (Lancaster Exit).
Travel East to the Logan, Exit 664 South.
From Logan, Ohio:
Take 664 South approximately 12 miles to park area.