One of the most popular activities of the Hocking Hills region is taking a hike on the regions 50+ miles of maintained trails. We’ve compiled Trail Maps for the major trails in the area. For a summary of the area State Park trails download the Trails of the Hocking Hills State Park map.
- Ash Cave:In the southernmost reaches of Hocking Hills is Ash Cave -beyond doubt the most spectacular feature of the entire park. Ash Cave is the largest, most impressive recess cave in the state. Access to Ash Cave is the easiest of all the parks with a 1/2 mile handicap accessible cement sidewalk leading to the main attraction!
- 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 the all seasons including large flowered trillium, Dutchman’s breeches, trout lily, Jack-in-the Pulpit and jewelweed. The narrow gorge is approximately one-fourth mile in length and with astonishing suddenness gives way to the tremendous overhanging ledge and cave shelter.
Cedar Falls: If one were to venture down the Lower Gorge of Old Man’s Cave, you would eventually enter the picturesque valley of Queer Creek. At the point where Old Man’s Creek merges with Queer Creek, the trail takes an abrupt turn east and enters this new valley. The trail leading to Cedar Falls passes through the most austere area in Hocking Hills. This remote, primitive chasm is laden with hemlock and bound by steep rock walls and their accompanying grottoes and waterfalls. It is a wild and lonely but spectacularly beautiful place.
Old Man’s Cave:The most popular of all the Hocking areas is Old Man’s Cave, located on State Route 664 just 1/2 mile from our Cedar Grove Retreat property. The Grandma Gatewood Trail begins at the Upper Falls and continues on a six-mile (ONE WAY!) course connecting three of the park’s areas: Old Man’s Cave to Cedar Falls to Ash Cave. Not up for a twelve mile round trip hike; you can also just take the Grandma Gatewood trail from Old Man’s Cave to Cedar Fall’s and then take the Rose Lake trail to find your way back to Old Man’s Cave for a total trip of ~6 miles. Another option if you have more than one car, leave one car at Ash Cave before you start your hike at Old Man’s Cave and just enjoy the 6 mile one way Grandma Gatewood trail. This same trail has been designated as part of Ohio’s Buckeye Trail as well as part of two national systems – the North Country Scenic Trail and America’s Discovery Trail.
Conkle’s Hollow, situated off S.R. 374 on Big Pine Road is a rugged, rocky gorge – considered one of the deepest in Ohio. The valley floor is a veritable wilderness covered by a profusion of ferns and wildflowers while hemlock, birch and other hardwood tower overhead. The growth is so thick in places that little or no sunlight reaches the deep valley floor.
Cantwell Cliffs is located in the northern reaches of Hocking Hills about 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 is unique in the Hocking Hills’ region, as it is the only true cave in the park. It is a tunnel-like corridor situated midway up a 150-foot cliff of Blackhand sandstone.
Below is a list of the many very beautiful local parks, nature preserves, and hiking trails. Many of the larger state park trails have been modified (one way trails, new trails, etc..) to provide improved social distancing. (ALL are open):
- Airplane Rock and adjoining Bridle Trails
- Ash Cave State Park
- Boch Hollow State Nature Preserve (permit required)
- Cantwell Cliffs State Park
- Cedar Falls State Park
- Chapel Cave Trail Map
- Christmas Rocks State Nature Preserve
- Clear Creek Metro Park
- Conkles Hollow State Park
- Kessler Swamp State Nature Preserve
- Lake Logan State Park
- Lake Hope State Park
- Merl and Margaret Primmer Outdoor Learning Center – Registration via Capital University
- Old Man’s Cave State Park
- Rhododendron Cove State Nature Preserve
- Rock House State Park
- Rockbridge State Nature Preserve
- Shallenberger State Nature Preserve
- Tar Hollow State Park
- Wayne National Park
- Whispering Cave and Hemloch Bridge Trails
- Zaleski State Forest