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Hocking Hills State Park

Located in Southeastern Ohio, Hocking Hills State Park is a national and internationally acclaimed State Park. Stunning in every season, Hocking Hills features beautiful towering cliffs, thrilling waterfalls, and deep, hemlock-shaded gorges. Whether it’s wildflowers adorning the forest floor in springtime or vivid foliage in the fall, hikers and nature lovers alike have plenty to enjoy in this awe-inspiring park. 

Learn about the all-new Hocking Hills State Park Lodge under construction now.

Overnight Options

Lodge/Cabins 

Construction of the new Hocking Hills State Park lodge began on July 1, 2020. This new facility replaces the former day-use dining lodge that was destroyed in a Dec. 2016 fire. Exciting features of the two-story lodge include 81 overnight guestrooms, a full-service restaurant, and indoor and outdoor pools. 

Reservations for the Cabins at Hocking Hills State Park are transitioning from reserveohio.com (reservations prior to 8/1/2022) to greatohiolodges.com (reservations 8/1/2022 and beyond)

 

Camping/Cabins

Hocking Hills State Park Campground offers Full Hookup and Electric camp sites with 20-, 30- or 50-amp service, Non-electric sites, and Sherman Cabin camping shelters. The park also offers Primitive "hike-in" tent-only sites and a primitive Group Camp in their own areas of the park.

Reservations for these camp sites are required and may be made up to 6 months in advance online or by calling (866) 644-6727.

Fully outfitted vacation Cabins are available at the park; reservations are required and can be made up to one year in advance.

  • Cabin reservations for dates prior to August 1, 2022 may be made online at reserveohio.com or by calling (866) 644-6727.
  • Cabin reservations for August 1, 2022 and beyond are managed by Great Ohio Lodges (online at greatohiolodges.com) at 1 (800) AT A PARK (800-282-7275).

Hiking Trails

Trails and picnic areas of Hocking Hills State Park are open from 1/2-hour before sunrise to 1/2-hour after sunset. (OAC 1501:3-46-07)

The trail system at Hocking Hills offers a variety of hiking options. Many of the trails have been re-routed for one-way hiking, which improves safety without taking away from the park's majestic scenery and breathtaking views. Please follow directional signage.

Visitors must remain on the marked trails at all times. Young children should be closely supervised while on the hiking trails. Visitors are urged to wear appropriate foot attire and be cautious of trail conditions, especially in winter months when the trails are typically covered in ice. Appropriate outerwear and footwear (including ice cleats) are recommended.

  • Ash Cave Gorge - 1/4-mile - Easy - Handicap Accessible
  • Ash Cave Rim - 1/4-mile - Moderate
  • Cantwell Cliffs - 2 miles - Difficult
  • Cedar Falls - 1 mile - Moderate
  • Old Man's Cave - 1 mile - Moderate
  • Rock House - 1 mile - Moderate
  • Whispering Cave Trail (includes the "swinging" Hemlock Bridge) - 4.5 miles - Difficult. Features the second largest cave in the region with a 105-foot seasonal waterfall cascading to the floor below. 

Buckeye Trail and American Discovery Trail join with the Grandma Gatewood Trail for 6 miles through the park. The trail is rated difficult.

Nearby Conkles Hollow State Nature Preserve offers two traditional trails; one is handicapped-accessible. No pets are permitted in the nature preserve.

Download the Hocking Hills Trail Map

Activities

Download the Naturalist Program Schedule

Archery

An archery range with five static targets and 22 3D targets is open from daylight until dark year-round. Archers must bring their own equipment.

Boating

The park's 17-acre Rose Lake is available for paddling and boats with electric motors.  It is easy to hand launch boats, but boats must be carried in on a half-mile hiking trail which is located off of State Route 374. Registered campers have about 300 feet of shore access to the lake. 

Bridle Trails

The park offers 5 miles of bridle trail. An additional 33 miles of bridle trail are located in Hocking State Forest. The system, one of the most popular riding destinations in Ohio, is available to riders with their own mounts.

Fishing

Fishing is allowed at the 17-acre Rose Lake. Access is off of State Route 374 via a 1/2-mile hiking trail off of State Route 374.  Anglers will enjoy catching rainbow trout, channel catfish, bass, and blue gill.

Under the proper conditions, park visitors can enjoy ice fishing during winter months.

Hunting

Hunting is permitted in designated areas of the park and in the adjacent Hocking State Forest.

Download the Hunting Map

Visitor Center

The Hocking Hills State Park Visitor Center is located at the Old Man’s Cave parking lot off State Route 664. The visitor center features interactive displays, exhibits and wildlife showcases about the Hocking Hills region. The visitor center is open daily from 10am to 5pm. Visitors can obtain more information by contacting the camp office at (740) 385-6842.

Meet the Naturalist: Jeff Large 

Mountain Biking

  • Purple Trail Loop - 2 miles - Moderate
  • Orange Trail Loop - 2 miles - Difficult

Picnicking

The park offers several picnic areas with tables, grills, and latrines at popular areas in the park. 

More to Do

  • Special events and nature programs are offered year round
  • Visitors Center at Old Man's Cave offers restrooms, gift shop, and educational exhibits
  • Rock climbing/rappelling area is available in the adjacent 9,238-acre Hocking State Forest

History & Natural Features

History

The vast gorges and towering cliffs of Hocking Hills have been a natural wonder to Ohioans for generations. Evidence even suggests that as long as 7,000 years ago members of the Native Adena Tribe inhabited the Hocking cliffs. 

By the mid 1700’s, Native American tribes such as the Wyandot, Delaware, and Shawnee traveled through these hills. Natives called the river “Hockinghock”, meaning “Bottle River”, which refers to the shape that glacial melt had carved the sandstone gorges.  

After the Greenville Treaty of 1795, numerous settlers moved into the Hocking region, establishing Hocking County in 1818. By 1835, powder and grist mills were constructed at Cedar Falls, leading to wider development of the area.  

In 1870, the cave areas had already become well-known recreational attractions. The first land purchase by the state of Ohio for preserving the natural resources of the park was made in 1924; the first parcel included the now famous ‘Old Man’s Cave.’  Subsequent purchases expanded the public lands as State Forest Parks protected by the Department of Forestry.  

After the creation of The Ohio Department of Natural Resources in 1949, the Division of Parks and Watercraft assumed management of the Hocking Hills State Park complex, which today includes seven state parks.  

A dining lodge and cottages were built for the park in 1972. However, the dining lodge was closed after it caught fire in 2016. A new lodge and hotel are currently under construction and will open on October 8th, 2022. 

Natural Features

The natural history of the park is as fascinating as it is beautiful. Amongst the sandstone, visitors can learn about Ohio’s natural history from our naturalists or the historical markers present throughout the park.  

The scenic landmarks of the seven areas in the Hocking Hills State Park complex are all made up of water-carved Black Hand Sandstone. The bedrock of this sandstone was deposited over 350 million years ago and used to cover all of Ohio. Millions of years of uplift and stream erosion chiseled away the rock, leading to the stunning gorges and cliffs seen today.  

The sandstone contains a softer more malleable middle zone and a harder top and bottom zone. The recess caves at Ash Cave, Old Man’s Cave, Whispering Cave, and Cantwell Cliff are all carved into the softer middle zone. Weathering and erosion widened cracks found in the middle layer of sandstone to create the unusual formations found at the Rock House. 

Other features of the rock include cross-bedding, honeycomb weathering, and slump blocks. Cross-bedding is a cross section of an ancient sand bar in the sandstone. Honeycomb weathering appears as small holes in rock walls that look like a beehive comb; this pattern is formed after water washes out small pockets of loosely cemented sand grains. The huge slump blocks of rock littering the streams tumble from nearby cliffs when cracks widen, and a block is no longer supported by the main cliff. 

Geology of the Hocking Hills State Park Region

Glaciers never physically reached the park area, but their impact can be found in the vegetation that grows within the gorges. Glacial runoff brought towering eastern hemlocks, the Canada yew, and the yellow and black birch trees to Hocking.

Contact & Hours

Park Hours: Half hour before sunrise to half hour after sunset. Visitors are permitted to actively engage in legitimate recreational activities outside these hours, except on trails and in picnic areas. If you have questions, call the park office.

Park Office: (740) 385-6842; 8am-4:30pm Monday-Friday

Manager: Robin Donnelly

Nature Center: 10-5pm Daily

Email the Manager

Send Us Your Feedback

Volunteer

Find out how you can get involved with others who share your interests and passions at Hocking Hills State Park. Visit Friends of the Hocking Hills to learn more.

 

Emergencies

Call: 911

Phone Number

(740) 385-6842

Non-Emergency

#ODNR

Natural Features

    Available Trails

      Activities