|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Backpacker Magazine – BACKPACKER.com Online Exclusive
Lose yourself in the past on part of the Buckeye, America's longest loop trail.
Hocking Hills State Park 20160 SR 664 Logan, OH 43138 614/385-6841
Buckeye Trail Association Box 254 Worthington, OH 43085
Location: Hocking Hills is in south central Ohio, 50 miles southeast of Columbus and 12 miles south of Logan.
Getting There: From Columbus, take U.S. 33 south through Lancaster to the Logan-Bremen exit (OH 664). Follow OH 664 south about 12 miles to the Old Man's Cave entrance and visitor center.
Seasonal Information: Fall is beautiful with the changing leaves, but this is also the most crowded season. Spring is a great time to see the waterfalls and streams. Ice formations highlight the winter season, when the average temperature is 25 degrees F. Since snowfall is rare in the area, the park hosts visitors year-round.
Wildlife: As settlers started moving into the area in the late 1700s, horse thieves hid stolen animals in the caves. Bandits waited, hidden from view on the sandy upper ridges, to hijack and loot those passing by on the footpaths below. These days squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons, and blue jays are the most threatening looters around. You might also encounter deer and wild turkeys.
Insects: Contact park office for information.
Plant Life: Canadian glacial leftovers characterize the region with giant hemlock and many types of fern. The Canada yew and the yellow and black birch tell of a cool period 10,000 years ago. The cliff ledges surrounding the plunge pool of Upper Falls support rare colonies of the round-leaved catchfly, a threatened plant species in Ohio.
Facilities: A seasonal dining lodge contains a restaurant, meeting rooms, TV lounge, game room, snack bar, and an outside swimming pool. There are no sleeping facilities at the lodge. The park office, also located inside the lodge, is open year-round. There is a visitor center located near Old Man's Cave.
Forty gas-heated, family cabins sleep up to six people. They have two bedrooms (one with twin beds, one with a double bed), bath with a shower, living room with a convertible sofabed, complete kitchen, dining area, and screened porch. Each is furnished with a microwave, television, dishes and kitchen utensils, and bed linens. Reservations must be made by calling the park office.
Old Man's Cave Family Campground, located on S.R. 664, 11 miles south of Logan, is open year-round on a first-come, first-served basis. Campers must register at the office.
A horse camp is located near Rockhouse in Hocking State Forest for those visitors who wish to ride on backcountry trails.
Picnic areas with tables, grills, latrines, and drinking water are located at each of the recess caves. Some areas have shelterhouses available on a first-come, first-served basis.
The swimming pool outside the dining lodge is free to cabin guests during regular hours, Memorial Day to Labor Day, and open to the general public for a small daily fee. Registered campers only may use the outdoor pool in the family campground.
Parking: Contact park office for information.
Permits: Permits are required and can be obtained through the park office.
Fees for the Old Man's Cave Family Campground range run about $12 per night (non-electric site in season). Cabins are generally $84 per night.
Hazards: The area encompasses many cliffs that while beautiful also have the potential to be dangerous. For this reason, hikers are asked to stay on constructed trails. No rock-climbing is permitted.
Leave No Trace: Heed trails to protect plant life.
All LNT guidelines apply.
Maps: The Hocking Hills State Park map is available from the visitor center in Logan. The park also provides hiking guides for $2. Buckeye Trail section maps can be purchased from the Buckeye Trail Association for $3.50 each, plus 80 cents shipping and handling.
Other Trip Options: