Discover Hocking Hills – Ohio’s Most Picturesque Outdoor Park

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© iStock.com/Rachael Frances

Written by Telea Dodge

Published: November 5, 2023

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Ohio is not often thought of when we talk about beautiful places. When you think of Ohio, do you imagine beautiful, rushing rivers? Do you picture glistening waterfalls hidden in groves of hemlock? What about towering sandstone outcroppings that defy mundanity? A lot of people just picture Cleveland. Today, we’re on a search to find the more wild and beautiful side of Ohio – the southern beauty of Hocking Hills State Park.

What is Hocking Hills?

Cedar Falls Ohio

Cedar Falls is just one of the many beautiful places to visit when you go to Hocking Hills.

©iStock.com/ehrlif

Hocking Hills is a state park near Logan, Ohio. This is in the southeastern portion of the state, in an area known as the “Allegheny Plateau”. This state park spans 2,356 acres and has beautiful views and unique features, such as jagged cliffs overlooking stunning waterways that cut through sandstone and reveal strange rock structures and perfect little places to sit and enjoy nature. The Hocking Hills State Park spans a number of towns as it shares its beauty across Hocking County, Ohio.

There are many fun things to do, especially surrounding hiking and outdoor recreations, but also including camping, cabins, and other lodging in this picturesque area in Ohio.

Where is Hocking Hills on a Map?

Hocking Hills, OH

A gorgeous bridge stands over the top of Upper Falls in Hocking Hills.

©Michael Shake/Shutterstock.com

The exact location of Hocking Hills is hard to place, as it spans such a great distance. However, Google Maps offers directions to the main entrance of the park, which we have shared in this section. This map will help you get a better idea of where Hocking Hills is and some of the features of the park.

Let’s talk about how far Hocking Hills State Park is from well-known cities in Ohio. We’ve made this easy to do by putting a few Ohio cities in a table with their distances – including estimated travel time – from Hocking Hills.

CityDistanceEstimated Travel Time
Cleveland194 miles2 hours, 58 minutes
Cincinnati132 miles2 hours, 7 minutes
Toledo195 miles3 hours, 7 minutes
Columbus53.5 miles54 minutes
Dayton104 miles1 hour, 45 minutes

How Much Does Hocking Hills Cost?

Ash Cave Falls Ohio

The waterfall at Ash Cave is sure to delight visitors to the area.

©iStock.com/Wendy Van

Good news for people on a budget: Hocking Hills State Park – and all other parks in the state of Ohio – is free to enter. The park is open 365 days a year and its hours are from dawn to dusk every single day. Keep in mind that park closes at dusk because of the steep cliffs and other potential dangers you might face while moving at night, so be safe and follow park rules.

Because it’s such a beautiful place, the free admission can make the park a little crowded during the peak season. Parking can be a little harder to find sometimes, so plan ahead and make sure to go during a time of day and season that are comfortable for you. The best times to go are usually weekday mornings in the late spring and early fall. This will help you get some quiet time on the trails before other visitors come to enjoy the vast beauty that the park provides. Remember that parks are hard to maintain, so make sure to stay on designated trails and pack out your trash to help ensure that this one stays pristine and free for everyone!

Prominent Features

There is so much to do when you visit Hocking Hills. Some of these spots are super popular, so make sure to plan your visit knowing you might have company when exploring. Keep in mind that not all of these attractions are within the state park itself, and that Hocking Hills also incorporates surrounding nature preserves and parks.

We also recommend you stop by the Hocking Hills Regional Welcome Center to get more acquainted with the area before you start your exploration.

AttractionDescriptionWheelchair Accessibility
Ash CaveA small hike to a gorgeous, horseshoe-shaped cave. Offers picnic facilities, a parking lot, and restrooms.Yes
Old Man’s CaveOne of the seven major hiking trails in the park. A one-way loop trail takes you over a mile to see the Naturalist Cabin and Visitor Center.Partial
Cedar Falls Hiking TrailA moderate one mile hike through rock walls and hemlock, with beautiful waterfall views.No
Rock House1-mile loop through the only true cave in the park. Walk through a corridor underground to explore this 200-foot long cavern.No
Cantwell CliffsOver two miles of loop trails to explore the most rugged area in this park system.No
Conkles Hollow GorgeA 3/4-mile trail into a hollowed gorge.Yes
John Glenn Astronomy ParkAn outdoor plaza free of light pollution for optimal stargazing, outfitted with telescopes, a retractable roof, and an interactive sundial.Yes

Are Dogs Allowed?

Dogs are allowed in most areas at Hocking Hills, with the exception of Conkle’s Hollow Nature Preserve and Rockbridge Nature Preserve. Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times, to prevent disruption to the natural areas and to the other visitors to the park.


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About the Author

Telea Dodge is an animal enthusiast and nature fiend with a particular interest in teaching a sense of community and compassion through interactions with the world at large. Carrying a passion for wild foraging, animal behaviorism, traveling, and music, Telea spends their free time practicing their hobbies while exploring with their companion dog, Spectre.

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