Why should you visit Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio? Because the towering cliffs, waterfalls, and deep gorges this park offers will captivate anyone who enjoys the outdoors. And it’s an affordable option for families. The park itself is free.

When most people think of Ohio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, or Columbus likely comes to mind.  I didn’t fancy any of the cities.  I wanted to do something off the beaten track that Ohio is not well-known for. When I researched Ohio, I stumbled across cabins and treehouses near or within Hocking Hills State Park. I’m a massive fan of cabins (aka glamping), so I was intrigued.

Let me acquaint you with Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio.

Hocking Hills State Park - The Bridge At Old Mans Cave

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Location Of Hocking Hills State Park

Address: 19852 OH-664, Logan, OH 43138

How To Get To Hocking Hills State Park

We flew into Columbus, Ohio, on Southwest Airlines. Tickets are inexpensive—$ 200 per person round trip from Orlando. We stayed at Cassady’s Hill Top Cabins in the Trail Cabin. It was $110 per night. I can’t say enough good things about this place.

First, all the cabins are secluded. They are not on top of each other, so you have total privacy. Our cabin was more significant than we needed. Heck, it sleeps 8! We were all set with a fire pit stocked with wood, a hot tub on the balcony, and deer roaming the area. Now, if you read some reviews online, you might think otherwise. I honestly think people have exaggerated, and in one case, dramatically. I’m not going to quote them because we had an enjoyable experience, but I will say this. These are not luxury cabins; they are rustic and charming. Most importantly, they are clean and have all the amenities you need. We will return for sure.

If you want to stay in a treehouse, check out these options—treehouses designed by Kevin Mooney and Pete Nelson. Animal Planet and The Discovery Channel filmed one of the treehouses’ buildings, and it was on a show called Tree House Masters. If you need luxury, it’s available; prepare to spend a lot more.

Cabins In Hocking Hills State Park

If you want to stay directly in the park, there are many affordable options to choose from here:

Booking.com

Things To Do At Hocking Hills State Park

Like many parks, Hocking Hills State Park offers fishing, boating, canoeing, kayaking, and tubing on The Hocking River. Coming from Florida, we skipped these activities because we get to do this all year round.  Many companies choose from just Google Hocking Hills River, and many options will come up.

Trails:

Old Man’s Cave

One of six major hiking trails, Old Man’s Cave is a must. Old Man’s Cave features many unique bridges and scenic views. Old Man’s Cave is considered the heart of Hocking Hills State Park.

Old-Mans-Cave

By far the most scenic of the routes, in my opinion. Just take a look at the bridge and the old trees. Very mystical.

Tree At Old Mans Cave

Hocking Hills State Park - The Bridge At Old Mans Cave

Upper Falls

It is located at the east end of the Old Man’s Cave trail. It’s a quick walk to the Upper Falls, and accessing the base is easy. Like all the water bodies in this area, the waterfall in the summer can be thin. Don’t expect the gushing falls you may see in some iconic photos. You can also get married at the base of the Upper Falls!

Hocking Hills State Park Wedding

Cedar Falls

One more major hiking trail in Hocking Hills State Park.  Easy to hike to and worth the effort. I would describe this fall as a good old-fashioned watering hole. While all signs say not to take a dip, everyone does, and everyone goes under the waterfall.

Hocking Hills State Park Waterfall

Ash Cave

Ash Cave is in the southernmost part of Hocking Hills State Park. This is a horseshoe-shaped cave. It measures 700 feet from end to end and is 100 feet deep.

Rock House

Technically the only natural cave. Rock House is a tunnel-like corridor up a 150-foot cliff. Inside this cave, you will find many carvings in the rock. And there’s a cool bridge you need to cross to get to the base of the Rock House. The cavern features natural cut-outs that look like windows.

Ash Cave Hocking Hills

Hocking Hills State Park, Courtesy Photo

Cantwell Cliffs

Located on the Northern side and seventeen miles north of Old Man’s Cave, these cliffs are remote and less visited than many other trails. Said to be the most picturesque in Hocking County, these are worth the effort.

Map of Hocking Hills State Park

Hocking Hills State Park Map

Other Things To Do Near Hocking Hills State Park

Conkle’s Hollow

Conkle’s Hollow is situated off S.R. 374, considered one of the deepest gauges in Ohio, and named after  W.J. Conkle, who carved his name on the wall in 1797.  Conkles Hollow is a state nature preserve.

Relax

This trip was sorely needed for us. We are always on the run. By far, one of the most relaxing vacations we have had in a while. We walked a couple of hours daily, checking out the park and making various trails. Then, we headed back to the cabin to take advantage of the hot tub, followed by a fire.  I know some of you might think you can do this anywhere. True, but who knew it would be so picturesque in Ohio?

Shopping

A Flea Market is open Friday through Sunday year-round—located in Rockbridge. It’s worth checking out if you want hand-made local goods or produce. Or, if you are looking for a gun, this is your place.

A commercial shopping center is located about 10 minutes out of the park that hosts the usual suspects like Wally World. You can buy anything and everything here.

What You Need To know:

  1. All trails are open from dawn to dusk all year long. But here is the best part. All the trails are free, as is the parking!
  2. If you are in the Mid-West, drive to Hocking Hills!
  3. If you are not in the Mid-West, fly into Columbus airport and rent a car.
  4. This area is low-key and laid back; you don’t need fancy clothes.
  5. You will need bug spray, especially at night.
  6. There are not many restaurants. Consider taking advantage of the grill – we did!
  7. Cell service is hard to come by, which has pros and cons.  Good from the standpoint that you will be off the grid. Bad in the sense that you must find a spot if you must connect.
  8. This is the Mid-West folks. Don’t expect city-slicker amenities. Enjoy the charm.

Frequently Asked Questions About Hocking Hills State Park

How much does it cost to get into Hocking Hills State Park?

It is free to visit Hocking Hills, State Park. There are no entrance fees for walking the trails or for parking.

Is Hocking Hills open right now?

Hocking Hills State Park is open all year round.

Can you drive through Hocking Hills State Park?

Yes, you can. The Byway runs through the Hocking Hills State Park; start your journey on State Route 374 at US 33 in Rockbridge.

Can you swim in Devil’s Bathtub in Hocking Hills, Ohio?

No, the park does not allow you to swim in the Devil‘s Bathtub – for your safety.

Is it free to go to Old Man’s Cave?

As with the park, the Old Man’s Cave is free. You do not have to pay anything to enter.

Closing Thoughts:

I had low expectations for Ohio, and it superseded my expectations. We may repeat this trip in the winter with snow. Or, we make another trip with friends and the sprogs. Much like Tennessee, there is so much to see and do here. It’s all good old-fashioned outdoor activity. I suspect most people don’t realize Hocking Hills State Park offers up as much as it does, and that’s a shame.

Without a shadow of a doubt, this park is as beautiful as many of the more well-known ones. If you need a chilling weekend or a place to explore with sprogs, Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio, should be on your radar.

Lastly, everything in the area is priced moderately, making it an excellent choice for families. Rent a cabin, pack up the car, and go. You will not regret it.

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