Hocking Hills State Park Hiking Trails Pictures Movie
Hocking Hills State Park Hiking provides a variety of recreational opportunities in a splendid natural setting. Towering cliffs, waterfalls and deep hemlock-shaded gorges lure the hiker and naturalist and serve as a backdrop to popular facilities and accommodations.
Hocking Hills State Park 19852 St. Rt. 664 South Logan, Ohio 43138 Park Office (740) 385-6842 Reservations (740) 385-6841 1-866-644-6727 for cottage, camping, and getaway rental reservations
The natural history of the Hocking Hills State Park hiking region is as fascinating as the caves are beautiful. Here, in these sandstones and shales, one can read Ohio's history from the rocks. The scenic features of the six areas of the Hocking Hills State Park complex are carved in the Blackhand sandstone. This bedrock was deposited more than 350 million years ago as a delta in the warm shallow sea which covered Ohio at that time. Subsequent millions of years of uplift and stream erosion created the awesome beauty seen today. The sandstone varies in composition and hardness from softer, loosely cemented middle zone to harder top and bottom layers. The recess caves at Ash Cave, Old Man's Cave and Cantwell Cliffs are all carved in the softer middle zone. Weathering and erosion widened cracks found in the middle layer of sandstone at the Rock House to create that unusual formation.
History of the Area:
Local Attractions The hollows and caves of the park complex have long attracted the peoples of Ohio. Evidence of the ancient Adena culture illustrates man first inhabited the recesses more than 7,000 years ago.
In the mid 1700's several Indian tribes traveled through or lived here including the Wyandot, Delaware and Shawnee. Their name for the river from which the park gets its name was Hockhocking of "bottle river." The name comes from the bottle-shaped valley of the Hocking River whose formation is due to its one-time blockage by glacial ice.
The cave areas were well-known as scenic attractions by 1870. In 1924, the first land purchase by the state was made to preserve the scenic features. This first parcel of 146 acres included Old Man's Cave. Subsequent purchases built acreage while the areas existed under the Department of Forestry as State Forest Parks. The Department of Natural Resources was created in 1949 and the new Division of Parks assumed control of the Hocking Hills State Park complex, which today includes the six park areas. A dining lodge and cottages were opened in 1972. These cottages, together with a campground, provide overnight facilities in one of the most beautiful areas of our state.
Hocking State Forest is managed under the multiple-use concept with special empahsis on maintaining or creating a forest cover that will enhance woodland recreation. The area is also managed for timber and wildlife habitat, forestry research and demonstrations of good forest management, natural beauty, tree seed for forest nurseries and protection of soils and watershed. Timber products obtained from harvest, stand improvement and thinning operations include saw logs, veneer logs, pulpwood, firewood, fence and guard posts and poles. Proceeds from state timber sales are split among the state of Ohio and county and township governments where the timber originated. During the spring and fall fire season months --March, April, May, October and November-- the main objective of the division is to prevent, detect and suppress wildfires that occur on state and private land within Hocking County and parts of Vinton and Fairfield counties. The many gas wells and transmission lines that you see are a result of the development of a natural gas storage field underlying the forest area. Ninety-nine acres of forest land have been set aside for rock climbing and rappelling. The area is located on Big Pine Road, one mile east of Conkle's Hollow. A parking area is within easy walking distance of the rock and cliff face. There you will find excellent terrain for this growing sport. Be sure to use quality equipment and climb with experienced people. One of the special attractions of Hocking State Forest is the natural vegetation. Plant species commonly found farther north mix with typically southern species to provide an unusual variety of native plant life and associated wildlife.
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.
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.
Towering hemlocks, a cascading waterfall and a wide recess cave make Ash Cave one of Hocking Hills State Park's
most popular hiking trails. An added bonus is that the part of the trail leading to the cave is asphalt and
easily accessible for wheelchairs and strollers.
Interesting things to look for: As you enter the recess cave, look for the huge rock formation on the opposite side of the creek. This is known as Pulpet Rock and was once used as a "preaching pulpet" for ministers of area churches having services in the cave.
In the winter, the waterfall has been known to freeze from top to bottom.
The waterfall makes an eerie, low echo against the walls if you stand near the bottom of the steps leading to the upper trail.
The birds you see flying around the top of the recess cave and nesting in the eaves are Rock Pigeons. Their native habitats are cliffsides in Europe-they are here because their early ancestors stowed away on ship masts and crossed the ocean into America.
Length: There is an upper and lower trail at Ash Cave, each one approximately a 1/2 mile long. The lower trail is handicap accessible along a paved sidewalk ending in the large sandy region of the recess cave. It takes approximately a 1/2 hour to hike the trail.
The upper section is a little more rugged and takes 40 minutes to an hour to complete. Ash Cave Gorge Trail: 1/4 mile, 1/2 hour and Wheelchair accessible.
Winding narrow passages, steep inclines and a mysterious rock shelter makes Cantwell Cliffs an exciting place to visit. Kids love the passages and wildflower enthusiasts will be floored by the numbers of species in the spring.
From Logan Take State Route 33 north toward Lancaster and then to State Route 374.
Interesting things to look for:
Cantwell Cliffs offer hikers some of the most colorful pictures in the fall. In the spring, it's touted for a wide array of wildflowers. But compared to most of the other trails, it is more remote if you wish to pass fewer hikers on hot, summer days.
Cantwell Cliffs is located in the northern reaches of Hocking Hills - 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.
The erosion caused by Buck Run accounts for the deep valley, steep cliffs and rock shelter under the cliff. Approaching the rock shelter, the trail winds its way through narrow passageways caused by large slump blocks that have fallen away from the main cliff. The most narrow passage has been sarcastically named Fat Woman’s Squeeze. Unique to the Cantwell region is the limited amount of cross-bedding in the middle zone of the Blackhand. Usually the middle zone is extremely cross-bedded but only slightly in the Cantwell area. Another feature is the number of concretions that occur on the cliff face.
Concretions occur where the cementing agent, iron oxide, has been concentrated to such an extent that the sandstone has been discolored to a dark reddish-brown.
One can choose to follow the trails of the valley floor or the rim. A commanding view of the cliff and rock shelter is offered at Lookout Point on the east Rim Trail.
A trip to Cantwell Cliffs in southeastern Ohio's Hocking Hills requires visitors to go the extra mile...literally, but the experience is well worth it. In the eyes of many, Cantwell Cliffs is the most scenic spot in Hocking County, a region known for its natural wonders. Cantwell Cliffs is one of six natural areas located at Hocking Hills State Park. It's also the farthest north, a fact that keeps many visitors away. Those who do make the effort to visit Cantwell Cliffs will see a reddish-brown sandstone cliff shaped like a giant horseshoe that towers 150 feet over the gorge below. A one-mile trail leads hikers to Lookout Point on the east rim, where they're rewarded with a striking view of the cliff and a rock shelter. Along the way, visitors to Cantwell Cliffs will come across inclines and descents, slump rocks (large boulders) on the valley floor, a recess cave and an especially narrow passage nicknamed "Fat Woman's Squeeze." Although it's relatively short, the Cantwell Cliffs hiking trail can be a challenging way to spend an hour and a half. During springtime, wildflowers dot the area. Cantwell Cliffs hiking trail: 1 mile, 1 1/2 hours.
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 grottos and waterfalls. It is a wild and lonely but spectacularly beautiful place.
Cedar Falls itself is the greatest waterfall in terms of volume in the Hocking region. Queer Creek tumbles over the face of the Blackhand displaying the awesome force of water power.
In the mid 1800’s, a grist mill was built above the falls to utilize this water power for grinding grain.
Cedar Falls was misnamed by early white settlers who mistook the stately hemlocks for Cedars. A well kept picnic area and latrines are located within a short walk from the falls.
At Cedar Falls, huge hemlocks, a waterfall that is picture-perfect and craggy, beautiful cliffs bring folks back from year to year. From Logan take State Route 664 to State Route 374.
Interesting things to look for:
One of the more popular trails is Cedar Falls. Visitors to the trail have said it is like stepping into an enchanted forest. Huge hemlocks, well-worn paths and rugged cliffs line much of the trail.
At one time, a grist mill was located at the top of the falls where a newly constructed bridge now stands. If you look closely at the stream from the bridge, you can see the remnants of the old mill.
Huge snapping turtles live deep in the pool beneath the waterfall. Watch just below the cliff edge, you may see them basking in the early morning sun. Length: The trail is about a 1/2 mile and takes about 40 minutes to hike.
Conkle's Hollow, a State nature preserve, features scenic geologic formations and rare and unique plants. It is located off S.R. 374, open during daylight hours only.
The Hocking Valley offers a variety of points of interest for visitors. Local attractions include craft and antique shops, museums, canoeing, horse back riding, a scenic railway, hiking trails and scenic drives.
Adena State Memorial, the restored home of Thomas Worthington is one of The Ohio Historical Society's premier sites. It includes Worthington's newly-restored 1807 mansion and a 13,000 square foot Museum/Visitor Center.
For more information contact the Hocking Hills Tourism Association at 1-(800) HOCKING or (740) 385-6836 Logan-H ocking Chamber of Commerce.
Spectacular sandstone gorge with excellent vistas, spring wildflowers and fern communities.
Conkle's Hollow was purchased in 1925 by the state of Ohio in order to preserve the scenic beauty. In 1977 the hollow was dedicated as a state nature preserve in order to manage and protect the area.
Conkle's Hollow is one of the most spectacular features within the Hocking Hills region. Here one can find the unequaled beauty of sheer cliffs of Black Hand sandstone rising nearly 200 feet above the valley floor.
The deep, cool gorge, which is only 100 feet wide in places and is considered by some to be the deepest in Ohio, has numerous waterfalls cascading over its sandstone cliffs.
The cliff tops with their magnificent overlooks and the quiet gorge beneath offer the visitor an opportunity to explore different habitats, each with its own unique plant and animal communities.
About 350 million years ago, this portion of Ohio lay under the waters of a vast inland ocean. Rivers flowing into this ancient sea carried coarse and fine grained sands, depositing them in large wide deltas much like the present day delta at the mouth of the Mississippi River. Over millions of years, these sand deltas were buried by finer textured silt and clay sediments. Eventually these sedimentary deposits were compressed to form a thick hard layer of sandy textured rock which we now refer to as Black Hand sandstone.
Great forces of energy within the earth caused the land surface to gradually rise, eventually forming the present Appalachian Mountains. As the ocean waters drained away, the new land surface dried out and became subject to the erosional processes of surface water and climatic extremes.
The newly exposed sediments were weathered away, layer by layer, and washed onto some distant river delta. Today Black Hand sandstone layers are the uppermost of these past sediments and they in turn are being acted upon by erosional forces.
Located in Hocking County approximately 12 miles south of Logan on SR 664, 1 mile north on SR 374, and 1/4 mile east on Big Pine Road to the signed entrance. Parking lot, restrooms, and trail system are available.
Rugged cliffs, steep ledges and tiny recess caves make this remote trail a wonderful hike for the adventurous. From Logan take State Route 664 to Big Pine Road.
Interesting things to look for:
Cliffs, a meandering stream, enormous hemlocks and rock formations make the lower hiking trail a wonderful adventure. The recess cave with a seasonal waterfall at the end makes the trail worth the walk.
Length: The rim is 2 1/2 miles long and the lower trail is about a mile. It takes about an hour and a half to 2 hours to hike the rim or upper trail and about 1 hour to hike the lower trail.
The most popular of all the Hocking areas is Old Man's Cave. , located on State Route 664. Here at the Upper Falls, the Grandma Gatewood Trail begins its six-mile course connecting three of the park's areas: Old Man's Cave to Cedar Falls to Ash Cave. 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.
Rock House is unique in the Hocking Hills Ohio region of Ohio, 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.
This House of Rock has a ceiling 25 feet high while the main corridor is 200 feet long and 20 to 30 feet wide. The cavern was eroded out of the middle zone of the Blackhand sandstone. The resistant upper zone forms the roof and the lower zone forms the floor. Water leaking through a horizontal joint running parallel to the cliff face caused the hollowing of the corridor. This main joint or crack is very visible in the ceiling of the Rock House. A small series of joints run north to south at right angles to the main joint. Enlargement of this series of joints formed the window-like openings of Rock House.
Nature has hewn out of this cliff the Rock House complete with seven Gothic-arched windows and great sandstone columns which bear its massive roof. As one might imagine, Rock house was used for shelter by past visitors. Hominy holes, small recesses in the rear wall of Rock House, served as baking ovens for Native Americans using the cave. By building a fire in the small recesses, the rock became heated on all sides, and food could be baked in this crude manner. Further evidence of past use is the presence of chiseled out troughs or holding tanks found in the stone floor. When rainfall is abundant, springs of water permeate through the porous sandstone and flow into these troughs fashioned by man and, when full, continue across the floor and out of the windows. In this way, residents were able to maintain a small water supply in Rock House. According to local folklore, other not so welcome visitors frequented Rock House. Robbers, horse thieves, murderers and even bootleggers earned Rock House its reputation as Robbers Roost.
Rock House State Park has a colorful past and has long been a popular tourist attraction. In 1835, Colonel F.F. Rempel of Logan erected a 16-room hotel compete with ballroom, livery stable and a U.S. Post Office. The hotel stood where the picnic shelter is today. Numerous dated carvings in the rock bear evidence of this area’s long-standing popularity. One such carving in the form of a book bears the letters: ITFBRAR - ITFFAWMTAW which means, In the fall, Buck Run bananas are ripe - in the frost fall, a wise man takes a wife. (Buck Run banana is local slang for the fruit of the pawpaw tree.)
A past full of adventure! Once called Robbers Roost, it is told Rock House was a hideout for bandits. From Logan Take State Route 374 Interesting things to look for: The Rock House-In the early 1900's, a hotel was once located near the 1/4 mile trail leading to an opening in a cliff face with gothic-like windows. Rockhouse was even once said to be a hide-out for bandits and thieves in 1800's.
-look for small recesses in the back wall of Rock House were used as baking ovens for Native Americans staying in the cave. -troughs in the floor believed to be used to catch water. -at the picnic shelter, there was once a 16-room hotel compete with a ballroom, livery stable and a U.S. Post Office. Length: The Rockhouse trail is about a 1/2 mile long and takes 30 to 45 minutes to traverse.
20160 State Route 664 South/ Logan, Ohio 43138/ (740) 385-6841 Park Office
The park is located just outside Logan, Ohio. Originally known as Hocking Lake, it was re-named Lake Logan to reflect the Indian heritage of the area and to avoid confusion with nearby Hocking Hills State Park.
Keep an eye out on the Hocking Hills State Park Monthly Programs Schedule for special programs at Lake Logan http://www.hockinghillspark.com/Monthlyprograms.htm
Lake Logan is boasted as one of the best fishing lakes in Ohio. Northern pike, bass, bluegill, crappie, catfish and saugeye are common in the 400 acres of lake. Lake Logan is open during the day.
There are two launch ramps to the lake and boats have a 10 hp limit. Seasonal dock space can be rented from the park office. Boat tie-ups for picnicking fishermen are located at four of the picnic areas in the park.
A public swimming area can be found on the northern shore of the lake. Facilities include a concession area, drinking water, small playground, restrooms and changing booths.
Picnic areas abound within Lake Logan. Most areas have drinking water, grills and restrooms available. The picnic areas on the northwest and south shores of the lake have boat tie-ups for fishermen. Fires are permitted in grills only.
Across Lake Logan Road from the beach, the one-mile Pine Vista Hiking Trail circles a hilltop. A section of the Buckeye Trail runs through the northwest end of the park toward Hocking Hills State Forest.
Area Attractions: Park Naturalist Programs: For nature programs at the park, visitors may contact Hocking Hills State Park's web page: www.hockinghillspark.com.
There are many attractions to visit in Logan, Ohio. Antique malls, craft shops and canoeing are only a few of the many fun places to visit. There is always something to do year around in the hills.
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 tot Logan, Exit 664 South.
From Logan, Ohio: Take 664 South approximately 12 miles to park area.
From Columbus From Columbus you can choose from either of the following: Take US 23 South to Circleville, then SR 56 Southeast to Laurelville. Take US 33 South thru Lancaseter and continue south to Logan.
From Charleston, WV Take I77 North toward Cleveland. Traveling north on I77 you can choose from either of the following: Take US 33 North to Athens. Take US 50 West thru Marietta to Athens. From Athens, US 33 North to Logan.
From Indianapolis, IN Take I70 East to Columbus. Traveling east on I70 you can choose from either of the following: Take US 23 South to Circleville, then SR 56 Southeast to Laurelville. Take US 33 South thru Lancaster and continue south to Logan.
From Pittsburgh, PA Take I70 West toward Columbus. Traveling west on I70 you can choose from either of the following: Take US 22 Southwest to Lancaster. Take SR 37 South to Lancaseter. From Lancaster, US 33 South to Logan.