I have wanted to see Hocking Hills since before we even moved to Ohio. So, about six or more years now.
It’s just far enough away that we didn’t think we could swing it in a day trip. Three hours there, hiking all day, then three hours home? Whew!
I have looked to no avail for a cabin to rent that didn’t break the bank and could house all of us. I prefer to have a kitchen and separate bedrooms instead of renting two hotel rooms and it’s usually cheaper. I’ve seen so many cabins for 4, but so few for 5 or more. And all the cabins book up really fast and I couldn’t figure out how to plan that far ahead with our busy schedules.
There have been significant obstacles to our traveling these last few years: various unexpected expenses, sprained ankles and a broken leg!, COVID restrictions, my husband’s retirement and new job, extracurricular classes, my son’s elite baseball schedule, and my teen’s part-time job.
I will say that traveling with teens and older kids is so much fun and I love that they’re independent and don’t need me as constantly as when they were younger.
Luckily, I found a cabin for a long weekend at Burr Oak, and we planned to drive out early and hit some major Hocking Hills sites before checking in.
I recommend downloading or screenshotting maps since cell service is spotty in the area.
We parked at three trail heads to easily access the sites.
The parking lot was very tight and full of deep pot holes full of water.
There were only permanent portapotties.
There is a very nice pavilion with grills.
The path to the cave is paved and signs say one-way, but if you have a stroller or accessibility issues, you have to return this way.
It was really exciting when we caught our first view of the magnitude of this rocky cave from the path.
We climbed up the stairs and returned on the treacherous high path through the woods.
The paved parking lot is nice at Cedar Falls trailhead.
There are real bathrooms that seem pretty well-kept.
The wide walkway was really beautiful and full of ferns and mushrooms. There was one big muddy stretch and we had to climb up and over to the side by some rocks and tree roots or risk getting completely muddy and stuck.
The views were really beautiful and we took a long time here looking at all the plants and bugs.
Old Man’s Cave
This site is right off the huge paved parking area for the Hocking Hills visitor center.
The shop wasn’t great. There are fun activities inside for little kids. There are great bathrooms. There are park rangers with maps and info at a desk. It’s a pretty center.
The trailheads weren’t well-marked and we wanted the quickest option since we were tired and this was our last stop.
To be honest, this was disappointing after seeing Ash Cave and Cedar Falls.
We could almost view it from the parking lot. We walked the short way in to get some pictures and went right back to our car. I mean, it’s pretty, but we were glad it was our last stop and we loved the other sites so much more.
Hocking Hills is a beautiful region and I would love to see the leaves in autumn. We hope to return to see some other sites now that we are more familiar with the area.
We stayed at a Burr Oak cabin and that was cost effective and easy for us this time around.
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