20 Things To Do In Hocking Hills

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The majestic Hocking Hills region in Southeast Ohio is a spectacular landscape of tall cliffs, deep ravines and impressive stone and rock formations. The region is one of the most scenic in the Midwest. It lacks large cities or major urban centres, featuring a collection of idyllic towns and villages with roads, pathways, nature trails and bikeways.

Hocking Hills is bliss for outdoor enthusiasts, with stunning parks such as the Hocking Hills State Park and the Lake Logan State Park tucked away neatly behind thick forests for visitors to uncover. With tons of indoor and outdoor activities and attractions to enjoy, all within an hour’s drive from Columbus, these are the best things to do in Hocking Hills, Ohio.

20 Things To Do In Hocking Hills, Ohio

Hocking Hills State Park

1- Visit Hocking Hills State Park

things to do in hocking hills in winter
Exploring Hocking Hills in winter unveils its frozen beauty.

Hocking Hills State Park covers over 2,356 acres (953 ha) and is among the most visited places in the entire Hocking Hills region of Southeast Ohio.

The park opened to the public in 1924 and has over 25 miles (40 km) of scenic hiking trails, mesmerising waterfalls and a collection of impressive rock formations and caves for visitors to enjoy.

It’s open year-round from sunrise to sunset and is home to popular local landmarks such as Old Man’s Cave, Cedar Falls, and Ash Cave.

Some top activities to enjoy inside the park include archery, horseback riding, rock climbing, and camping, making it a delightful outdoor wonderland in the heart of the Hocking Hills.

Hocking Hills State Park is at 19852 OH-664, Logan, OH 43138.

2- Explore the Rock House

hocking hills state park rock house
Exploring the Rock House is one of the best things to do in Hocking Hills to discover nature.

Featuring a 25-foot-tall (8 m) ceiling and a corridor stretching for over 200 feet (61 m), the Rock House is a sandstone cave formation situated west of Logan and just north of the Hocking Hills State Park.

The cave is the only true cave inside the park and has been a popular local attraction for more than a century before the Hocking Hills State Park was even established.

This tunnel-like cave resembles a stone house and is complete with stone columns supporting the cave’s massive roof.

Easily accessible thanks to the short hiking trail leading up to the cave, the Rock House is a truly unforgettable Hocking Hills landmark that’s worth checking out.

3- Hike to Cedar Falls

things to do in hocking hills state park
Cedar Falls in Hocking Hills State park in Ohio.

This popular waterfall, located inside the Hocking Hills State Park, is about halfway between Ash Cave and Old Man’s Cave, two of the park’s biggest attractions.

It was named after the abundant hemlock trees dotted around the falls, which early settlers misidentified as cedar trees.

The falls are about an hour’s drive south of Columbus, minutes from Uptown Athens, and just about two hours from Dayton, placing it in the heart of the Hocking Hills and near two of Ohio’s biggest cities.

Accessible via a half-mile long (800 m) hiking path, the falls are a must-see Hocking Hills attraction that’s bound to be a real treat for visitors of all ages.

4- Wander Through Ash Cave

hocking hills state park ash cave
Soaking up the magical atmosphere of the Ash Cave is one of the things to do in Hocking Hills State Park.

The Ash Cave is the largest recreational cave in Ohio and is the star attraction of Hocking Hills State Park.

Ash Cave features a horseshoe shape measuring roughly 700 feet (213 m) wide, 100 feet (30 m) deep, and approximately 90 feet (27 m) tall.

Curiously named after the piles of ash found inside the cave by early settlers, you can access Ash Cave via two hiking trails, the quarter-mile-long (400 m) Ash Cave Gorge that’s wheelchair accessible and the half-mile-long (800 m) Ash Cave Rim.

5- Take A Hike To Old Man’s Cave

old mans cave things to do in hocking hills
Exploring Hocking Hills State Park is one of the top things to do in Hocking Hills. Pictured here is a waterfall at Old Man’s Cave.

Old Man’s Cave is a popular place to go hiking in the Hocking Hills State Park and was named after a 16th-century hermit who lived in the area.

The trail is about one mile long (1.6 km) and links the park’s Upper Gorge, Lower Gorge, Upper Falls, Middle Falls and Lower Falls.

It takes about an hour to hike and forms part of the park’s Grandma Gatewood Trail, which links Ash Cave, Cedar Falls, and Old Man’s Cave together for one epic hiking experience.


6- See the Collection at Paul A. Johnson Pencil Sharpener Museum

The Paul A. Johnson Pencil Sharpener Museum is one of the state’s most unique attractions.

Situated just outside Logan, the museum was started by Rev. Paul A. Johnson in the 1980s when he was gifted a couple of pencil sharpeners shaped like cars by his wife, igniting Johnson’s passion for collecting cool and unique sharpeners.

Johnson spent over 20 years amassing more than 3,400 individual sharpeners, each with a unique backstory and design.

Some are based on famous cartoon characters and US Presidents, while others are shaped like cars, trains and tractors.

The Hocking Hills Welcome Center took over the collection in 2011 after Johnson’s passing in 2010, who now display and preserve one of the largest sharpener collections in the United States for everyone to see.

Paul A. Johnson Pencil Sharpener Museum is at 13178 State Route 664 S, Logan, OH 43138.

7- Unwind at the Lake Logan State Park

Lake Logan State Park is tucked away in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Southeast Ohio’s Hocking County.

It covers over 318 acres (129 ha) of land and more than 400 acres (160 ha) of waterways to explore.

The park opened in 1964 after the Lake Logan Dam was completed and is famed for its birdwatching and fishing opportunities.

Visitors to the lake can also partake in boating and kayaking, making it a great outdoor attraction to spend an afternoon in Ohio’s Hocking Hills region.

Lake Logan State Park is at 20160 St, Rt. 664, Logan, OH 43138.

8- Go Wine Tasting at the Hocking Hills Winery

romantic things to do in hocking hills
Going wine tasting is one of the things to do in Hocking Hills for adults.

The family-owned Hocking Hills Winery was established in 2012 and is an all-in-one venue hosting live entertainment, wine tastings and five-course meals.

The winery is in Logan on the lands of the Davidson family, who turned their cattle ranch into a winery.

Today, the Hocking Hills Winery sits at the centre of Ohio’s ever-growing wine industry.

It produces its own brand of wines using grape variants grown locally, sourced from across Ohio, and gathered throughout the country.

Hocking Hills Winery is at 30402 Freeman Rd, Logan, OH 43138.

9- Discover the Hocking River at the Hocking Hills Canoe Livery

Hocking Hills Canoe Livery organises personalised canoe, kayak and raft experiences along the Hocking River for visitors who wish to enjoy the great Hocking Hills outdoors in a safe and controlled environment.

Founded by Aaron and Cindy Fox, the company’s tours take passengers along the same routes that Native American tribes and early settlers used to fish and hunt.

The company organises special events throughout the year and has several different routes to pick from, each varying in length.

Hocking Hills Canoe Livery is at 12789 OH-664, Logan, OH 43138.

10- Leave the City Behind at Hocking Hills Adventures

things to do in hocking hills logan ohio
Going paddling is one of the fun things to do in Hocking Hills.

Hocking Hills Adventures organises kayaking, canoeing, rafting and tubing trips up and down the Hocking River on a private 200-acre (81-ha) plot of land near Logan, Ohio.

The company has been operating its world-class river excursions for over 40 years, promoting safe and environmentally-friendly outdoor activities that all ages can partake in.

The company also offers overnight cabins and camping sites to visitors wanting to spend the night, making it an excellent outdoor getaway destination to add to your Hocking Hills itinerary.

Hocking Hills Adventures is at 31251 Chieftain Dr, Logan, OH 43138.

11- See Conkle’s Hollow

conkles hollow hocking hills things to do
Hiking Conkles Hollow is another fun thing for nature lovers to do in Hocking Hills.

Conkle’s Hollow is a stunning 200-foot (61 m) deep gorge that forms part of the Conkle’s Hollow State Nature Preserve.

This deep, cool ridge is the deepest and steepest in Ohio and is comprised of Black Hand sandstone buried under a vast inland ocean 350 million years ago.

The gorge features two nature trails totalling roughly 3.5 miles (6 km) in combined length.

The gorge is wheelchair accessible and provides visitors with commanding vistas over the entire Hocking Hills region, stretching for as far as the eye can see.

12- Explore the Peaceful Cantwell Cliffs

Cantwell Cliffs is in a remote part of Northern Hocking Hills, some 17 miles (27 km) from the famous Old Man’s Cave.

Its isolation and locale off-the-beaten path makes the area surrounding the Cantwell Cliffs some of the most scenic in all of Hocking Hills and a great way to escape the business of daily life.

The cliffs were named after one of the families who first settled in the area and feature sandstone rock formations rising over 150 feet (46 m) above the ground.

Complete with scenic views of waterfalls, the beauty of the surrounding Hocking Hills State Park, and the 1.8 mile-long (2.8 km) Cantwell Cliffs Loop nature trail, the cliffs are one of the region’s top outdoor landmarks to visit.

Cantwell Cliffs are at 13540 OH-374, Rockbridge, OH 43149.

13- Whisk Past Stunning Landscapes at the Hocking Hills Canopy Tour

The Hocking Hills Canopy Tour became the first zipline tour in the Midwest region in 2007 and has since transformed Hocking Hills into the zipline capital of the Midwest.

USAToday rated the company’s zipline tours as the best in the United States.

The company features more than 60 individual ziplines for visitors to whisk past some of the most picturesque landscapes in Ohio.

Their most popular line is the “Original” Canopy Tour, which takes roughly 150 minutes to complete and passes over rocky cliffs, a cave, and the Hocking River.

Hocking Hills Canopy Tour is at 10714 Jackson St, Rockbridge, OH 43149.

14- Embrace Your Fears at High Rock Adventures

things to do in hocking hills oh Two female rock climbers scaling a rock face.
Going rock climbing is a fun activity in Hocking Hills for active travellers.

High Rock Adventures is one of Hocking Hills’ top ecotourism destinations, hosting exhilarating outdoor adventures such as rock climbing, rappelling and educational programs geared towards teaching people how to enjoy the outdoors sustainably.

The company takes visitors to some of the most impressive rock formations and natural scenery in Hocking Hills, providing adrenaline junkies with fun and adventure.

The company organises several tours and excursions with expert guides to ensure everyone is safe and informed.

High Rock Adventures is at 10108 Opossum Hollow Rd, Rockbridge, OH 43149.

15- Enjoy a Round of Mini Golf at Rempel’s Grove

fun things to do in hocking hills Mini-golf clubs and balls of different colors laid on artificial grass
.Having a round of mini golf is one of the fun things to do in Hocking Hills for families.

Rempel’s Grove is a fun 18-hole mini golf venue featuring all your favourite mini golf hazards, such as waterfalls, steep bends and seemingly unavoidable obstacles.

Apart from being the premier adventure golf destination in Hocking Hills, the venue also features a petting zoo, an ice cream shop, a traversable cave, and stunning arrays of plants and flowers dotted along the course.

Rempel’s Grove is at 12793 State Route 664, Logan, OH 43138.

16- Trot Across the Countryside at the Spotted Horse Ranch

things to do in hocking hills ohio
Visiting a horse ranch is another interesting thing to do in Hocking Hills.

The Spotted Horse Ranch is a fully functioning and authentic horse and cattle ranch that offers visitors the opportunity to hop on one of their Appaloosa horses (or bring their own horse) and explore the beautiful nature trails found throughout the ranch.

Doubling as a camping ground with 16 different sites to pick from, an event space, and even a barrel racing venue, the ranch is one of Hocking Hills’ top attractions.

Spotted Horse Ranch is at 17325 Deffenbaugh Rd #9633, Laurelville, OH 43135.


17- Explore the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio

Situated in Lancaster, near Columbus, the non-profit Decorative Arts Center of Ohio is a multi-purpose art facility featuring everything from art exhibitions to art classes and workshops for the local community.

The museum is in the historic Reese-Peters House, a magnificently preserved Federal/Greek Revival-style building dating back to 1835.

Visitors of all ages will find something of interest here, from educational programs for kids to clay art, painting and fibre art at the Wendel Center for Art Education on the museum’s premises.

Decorative Arts Center of Ohio is at 145 E Main St, Lancaster, OH 43130.

18- Learn about Glassmaking at The Ohio Glass Museum

The Ohio Glass Museum celebrates the influence of the glass industry from an economic and social impact perspective in Ohio.

Doubling as an exhibition space and an educative venue, the museum hosts live glass-blowing and flameworking demonstrations and displays one-of-a-kind glassware in exhibits for visitors.

The museum offers tours of the facility led by experienced and knowledgeable staff who guide visitors through the entire glassmaking process step by step.

The museum draws thousands of visitors annually and is one of the best venues dedicated to decorative arts in Southeast Ohio.

The Ohio Glass Museum is at 124 W Main St, Lancaster, OH 43130.


19- Hop Aboard the Historic Hocking Valley Scenic Railway

This non-profit, volunteer-run operation started in 1972 to restore and maintain old trains and railroad equipment for future Athenians to enjoy and ride aboard.

The railway organisation has been treating locals and visitors to trips aboard historic trains through the beautiful Hocking Hills region for over 50 years.

Trips usually run along the old Mineral Rail Road, built in 1867 to connect the Hocking Hills with nearby Columbus for carrying freight and coal.

Today, this historic railway operation is one of Southeast Ohio’s favourite tourist destinations and one of the most memorable ways of discovering the beauty of the Hocking Valley.

Hocking Valley Scenic Railway is at 33 W Canal St, Nelsonville, OH 45764.

20- Relax at the Lake Hope State Park

Lake Hope State Park covers an area of over 2,983 acres (1,207 ha) and is within the Zaleski State Forest.

The park features steep gorges, rocky ravines, thick forests, abandoned mines, plenty of wildlife, and fun and engaging outdoor activities.

Opened in 1949, the park’s centrepiece attraction is the 120-acre (49 ha) Lake Hope, perched on Bog Sandy Run, which provides visitors with endless opportunities for fishing, boating and wildlife watching.

The park remains wild and untamed and is one of the most picturesque outdoor landmarks in all of Ohio that’s well worth visiting during your stay in Ohio’s Hocking Hills region.

Lake Hope State Park is at 27331 OH-278, McArthur, OH 45651.

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Jessica Shaw is a storyteller who has lived in four U.S. states - Missouri, Georgia, Ohio and Illinois - and has visited many others. She loves history and nature and is a big fan of road tripping.