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.
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:
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.
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.
By far the most scenic of the routes, in my opinion. Just take a look at the bridge and the old trees. Very mystical.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Hocking Hills State Park, Courtesy Photo
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
Other Things To Do Near Hocking Hills State Park
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.
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?
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:
- 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!
- If you are in the Mid-West, drive to Hocking Hills!
- If you are not in the Mid-West, fly into Columbus airport and rent a car.
- This area is low-key and laid back; you don’t need fancy clothes.
- You will need bug spray, especially at night.
- There are not many restaurants. Consider taking advantage of the grill – we did!
- 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.
- 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.
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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I live in Hocking County and I want to thank you for your
article about the Heaven that we live in.
Please visit us again and bring friends to meet new friends.
By the way, our assistant director of tourism is from
London England. (Ohio also has a city named after
Again, many thanks and remember to mind your head
when traveling through the caves.
Thank you for such kind words and for visiting the site. We loved our time in your beautiful Heaven! We are actually considering it again this year as it’s so tranquil. I did not know your tourism director was from London! How cool is that:) I look forward to our next trip. Nikki
After not being to Old Man’s Cave in more than 40 years, I can’t wait to go back. I do remember that it has really beautiful scenery and the trails are easy to hike (even before lost over 200 lbs.)
Congrats on losing so much weight:) Yes, it’s time to head back if it’s been 40 years; it’s a lovely park with stunning caves:) Nikki