The Best Things to do in Hocking Hills State Park
When we arrived in Hocking Hills State Park in Ohio, the first thing on my mind was, what should we see first? This was really hard because all we had was a list of things but it didn’t explain it too well. So ill tell you a bit about each thing and list it in the order I would check out, but each person has their own taste!
A little about Hocking Hills…
The Hocking Hills Region has some very rich history both geologically and culturally. The Hocking Hills region was at the edge of the glacier during the last ice age, however the region was not glaciated. As the glacier retreated this area was inundated with water, which is a large part as to why this area has some of the most rugged terrain in Ohio and around this area.
The first people to settle this area were the Shawnee and Wyandot Tribes – In fact, the Wyandot gave the park its name, Hock-Hocking was a word they used to describe shape of the Hocking River while it flows between the very steep cliffs of the area.
Ash Cave is probably the most popular attraction in the park, I must say I was tremendously overwhelmed with this! It was unbelievable! Ash cave is unique because it’s a huge recess cave, I have never seen one before. A recess cave is a huge overhang like feature. Ash Cave it got its name because when the Europeans found this place they found thousands of pounds of ashes here. Presumably it’s from the Native Americans who took shelter and worked here.
What was most awe-inspiring to me was that Ash Cave was absolutely massive! it’s around 700 long and 100 feet tall. Ash cave is wheelchair friendly, but there is also a path for the more adventurous as well. The trail from Ash Cave also goes to Cedar Falls.
Cedar Falls is the next place up the road from the Fire Tower. So it would make sense to see this next, Cedar falls is a strenuous hike, it’s not too bad but there are about 100 steps or so and about 100 feet of elevation gain. It is NOT wheelchair accessible.
Cedar Falls is a really beautiful place, while the falls themselves aren’t overly noteworthy, it’s definitely a must see and I really enjoyed watching them for a bit. Cedar falls are the largest falls in the park. The trail here goes to Old Man’s Cave, and you have to cross a suspension bridge that has a grate floor so if you are afraid of heights just look straight!
Before we started exploring the Hocking Hills region, we had no idea this would be here. We actually found it because we were headed to Ash Cave from the State Park Campground and wanted to grab as many geocaches here as we could and one was called Fire Tower. We decided to go look for this one since it was on the way and boy were we surprised!
Fire Tower is a tall structure designed for park rangers to keep an eye out for signs of wildfires. However people are allowed to climb to the top and see the amazing view! Unfortunately we were there just after the leaves had mostly fallen so our view wasn’t as incredible as I’m sure it would be in Mid October but it was stunning none-the-less.
Fire tower is probably 150 feet tall, its quite a thrill to climb but I would say don’t climb it if you are afraid of heights. It is a but dizzying up there.