From the forested highlands of the magnificent Appalachian Mountains in the south to the beaches of the mesmerizing Lake Erie in the north, Ohio’s numerous national and state parks are outdoor enthusiasts’ playgrounds. In this exceptional state, there are a variety of open-air activities available year-round, including cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, canoeing, and paddleboarding, as well as wilderness hiking, disc golf, and other activities and attractions.
Tourists will learn that Ohio’s 77 state parks, 3 national wildlife refuges, and 2 national historic parks make their favorite outdoor activities a unique experience each time. The list of the finest national and state parks in Ohio will help its visitors find the greatest locations to go near them. However, Hocking Hills State Park is distinguished, and here is what makes it the best one in Ohio.
Hocking Hills State Park Is The Most Visited Park In Ohio
Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio’s most popular state park, invites visitors to explore its 2,356 acres (9.5 km2) of breathtaking natural splendor.
This southeast Ohio park is a nature lover’s paradise with miles of trails, craggy cliffs and caves, sandstone gorges, and peaceful waterfalls! One of the finest things to do in Hocking Hills is to take in the gorgeous scenery, and there are several natural formations there that are a must-see.
Black Hand Sandstone is used to cut the natural rock formations in the Hocking Hills, creating stunning cliffs, caverns, and gorges all throughout the area. People visit Hocking Hills State Park to see the best places.
Wander Through The Largest Cave In East Of The Mississippi River
The spectacular horse-shoe-shaped cave rim stretches 700 feet (213.3 meters), making it the largest recessed cave east of the Mississippi River. This serene natural wonder is surrounded by a canopy of trees, and it has a lovely runoff waterfall that falls from its upper rim into a pool below.
Related: Stargazing Ohio: This Park Offers The Best Night Sky Views
A short hike down the lower paved trail will get visitors to Ash Cave. One of the most inclusive and accessible places to visit in the Hocking Hills is the Ash Cave Trail since it is paved and child and handicap accessible.
- Distance: 0.5 mile (0.8 km)
Climb The Wonderful Cantwell Cliffs
Those who travel to Cantwell Cliffs, which is in one of the most secluded parts of Hocking Hills, will be rewarded with a strenuous trek and beautiful landscape.
Related: Famous Places In Ohio? Here Are The Top 10 Worth Seeing
Two paths are available for hikers: the rim trail, which offers breathtaking views, and the valley trail, which leads past huge sandstone cliffs.
A tiny route leading into the gorge is among the region’s most distinctive features.
- Distance: Over 2 miles (3.2 km)
Visit The Stunning Cedar Falls
Beautiful hemlock and sheer rock walls surround Cedar Falls, which drops 50 feet (15.2 meters) into a valley. The most impressive waterfall in Hocking County is Cedar Falls, which has the greatest water flowing over its surface. It is also among the most photographed waterfalls in Ohio.
The Buckeye Trail can be hiked from Ash Cave or Old Man’s Cave, or hikers can descend 100 steps into the magnificent grotto from the parking lot to access the falls.
Discover The Devil’s Bathtub
Devil’s Bathtub is among the most unusual sights to view in Hocking Hills. It is known for its distinctive streambed and multi-tiered waterfall. The bathtub is situated on a thin layer of Black Hand Sandstone and is constantly enlarging as a result of Old Man’s Creek’s swirling motion.
From the Old Man’s Cave visitor center, tourists can take the Buckeye Trail for one mile (1.6 km) to reach Devil’s Bathtub.
Hocking Hills State Park Has Ones Of The Most Scenic Trails In The United States
One of the top hiking locations in the country is Hocking Hills State Park. A variety of features, including cliffs, rock formations, waterfalls, and caves, are shown along the park’s wide path network.
Both challenging paths for experienced hikers and brief, paved routes for beginners are available. Even guided hikes are offered throughout the year at the park.
The guides can help the park’s visitors if they want to start hiking in the Hocking Hills but are unsure of where to begin.
Before adventurers start hiking, they shall be sure that they consult the Hocking Hills State Park Guide which is a comprehensive reference for anything related to outdoor activities. The Old Man’s Cave Winter Hike, which begins in January, is a six-mile, arduous (9.6 km) hike that passes through Old Man’s Cave, Cedar Falls, and Ash Cave.
Hikers can observe the snow-covered landscape and stunning ice waterfalls as they go. In counterpart, Hocking Hills State Park provides the Wildflower and Waterfall trek in the spring.
Visitors can seek out rare wildflower species all across the Ash Cave region. There, the waterfalls are magnificent, and since there is nothing behind them, intrepid hikers can trek all the way around the cascade.
The explosion of Fall color in the Hocking Hills is a must since it is one of the most picturesque and secluded areas of the state, with magnificent oranges, greens, reds, yellows, and even purple. In December, the Luminary Walk brings Ash Cave to life.
Hikers can join in the tree decoration, stay warm by the fire, and enjoy carolers.