*Post was last updated on October 18, 2021.
We have visited Hocking Hills State Park in Logan, Ohio on several occasions. We have made day trips to do some hiking because it is located only about an hour south of Columbus and we have visited for longer trips allowing us to explore a bit more of the area. There aren’t many hotels in the area, so renting a house or cabin (or camping if you are in to that) is generally the best option.
Hocking Hills is a great long weekend trip if you enjoy spending time outdoors. Hocking Hills is primarily known for hiking, camping, and canoeing/kayaking, but there are other activities such as zip lining, rock climbing, horseback riding, ATV tours, and visiting antique stores and flea markets. You will also find bike rentals, miniature golf, go carts, and even a museum of pencil sharpeners. Keep reading for my tips on making the most out of your visit to Hocking Hills State Park in Logan, Ohio.
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What to do
Hiking is probably the most popular activity in Hocking Hills State Park. There are several iconic areas with picturesque waterfalls and cliffs. Two of the most popular hikes include Old Man’s Cave and Ash Cave. There are a number of really beautiful photo opportunities along the one mile hike to Old Man’s Cave including caves and waterfalls. Note that there are several areas with steep stone steps and significant elevation changes.
The hike to Ash Cave is very easy, short, and flat. At the end of the walk you are rewarded with a magnificent cave shelter with a waterfall cascading into a small pond. Once when we were there we actually saw a small wedding taking place in front of the waterfall. There are actually seven major points of interest that each have their own hike in Hocking Hills. We have visited them all and I plan to write a detailed post about them in the near future.
We haven’t had the opportunity to take advantage of the water on any of our previous visits to Hocking Hills, I hope to do so on our next visit. There are several companies (Hocking Hills adventures and Fox’s Hocking Hills Canoe Livery among others) that offer rentals and transportation for canoeing, kayaking, and tubing.
3. ATV adventure
If you own ATVs, you should definitely bring them with you to Hocking Hills. We are novices, so we rented ATVs on our most recent trip. We had a blast! We decided to rent from Adventure Pro Outdoors because they had guided trips and were welcoming of beginners. They also use the dedicated ATV trails in Wayne National Forest, so the views are stunning. Although it is a bit expensive, we loved this adventure and would highly recommend it. Our guides, Barry and Aaron, adjusted the route and speed to our comfort and skill level. We had so much fun and highly recommend Adventure Pro ATV rentals.
4. Antique shopping
There are three moderately-sized antique malls in the Hocking Hills area. As an avid antique shopper, I had to visit them all. In my experience, the Hocking Hills Market had the best selection of quality antiques. There are two antique malls in this shopping center. The one at the very furthest point of the shopping center (with a sign that simply said Antique Mall) had incredible quality antique pieces. The other shop, the Spring Street Antique Mall, was also very good. We felt that the Logan Antique Mall (near the Olde Dutch Restaurant) didn’t have a lot of quality antiques and felt more like a flea market.
On our most recent trip we came home with an antique ship’s wheel that I plan to use as décor in the spare bedroom and the cutest cast iron duck bank. Both pieces were purchased from the nicer ‘Antique Mall’ in the Hocking Hills Market.
After a morning of hiking, a visit to the Hocking Hills Winery is lovely. They have wine tastings, but when we visited we opted to try the wine slushies. They were tasty and refreshing. They also have a kitchen that puts out some really delicious food. We thoroughly enjoyed the one of their charcuterie boards on a recent visit. It tends to be quite busy (especially on the weekends), but there is a lovely outdoor seating area if the weather is nice.
6. Brewery 33
I also recommend a visit to Brewery 33. You can sample various beers while enjoying a board game. They offer several beer flights and have many rotating and seasonal options. While they do not offer food, they have some snacks available and allow food delivery from local restaurants. They are even pet-friendly! The brewery is part of the Route 33 Brew Trail which consists of six breweries in the Hocking Hills Area.
This is truly a trip that is low-key. In the evenings we enjoy sitting in the hot tub and catching up. Make sure to just enjoy nature and the company of family and friends when you visit Hocking Hills State Park in Logan, Ohio.
Where to eat
When we visit Hocking Hills, we generally tend to eat breakfast before leaving for the day and often pack sandwiches for lunch so that we can have a picnic whenever we need a break from our adventures. For dinner (an sometimes lunch), we try to take advantage of local restaurants. There are several decent food options in the Hocking Hills State Park area.
Kindred Spirits is certainly the best meal we have had in the Hocking Hills area. The menu is a bit more high-end and the prices are a bit higher than the other restaurants on this list, but the food was really good. When we visited, Brian ordered the pork and I ordered the salmon. Both dishes were fantastic. Brian even said that his pork was the best he had ever eaten. I really enjoyed the locally sourced maple-syrup glaze on my salmon.
This barbecue restaurant came highly recommended. The food was really good and the meat was full of flavor. We unfortunately had terrible service when we visited, but with a 4.4 out of 5 rating on Google, I have to assume it was a fluke. Expect to leave full.
The Olde Dutch Restaurant is really cute. You can order off the menu, but I recommend the buffet with seemingly endless food options. The food was pretty good and I thought the salad bar was really impressive. I really appreciate a solid ranch dressing, and they didn’t disappoint. Pre-Covid, they had an entire table full of different pies and a cooler full of ice cream flavors for dessert. On our most recent visit, they had a list of available pies and brought you a slice of your choice after you finished with the buffet.
You can also find mini golf and an ice cream shop across the parking lot.
Located in the Rocky Outdoor Gear Store, we likely would not have considered stopping at this small place if it had not been recommended by the guides on our ATV adventure. It was convenient and we were able to do a bit of shopping after lunch. I ordered the brisket and pulled pork while Brian ordered the Texas Cheesesteak. The food was pretty standard BBQ fare. I really liked the cornbread, though.
On our most recent trip, we ordered take-out from the Lake Hope Lodge. The food was pretty typical casual dining food. We ordered pepperoni pizza and some sides. Everything was good, but I would say the pizza had way too much cheese on it (it was seriously a lot of cheese). We were previously unaware of the Lake Hope State Park. In addition to the dining lodge, they also have cabins and camping available. It is about 30 minutes from the Hocking Hills State Park.
6. The M & M Family Diner
The M & M Family diner is highly recommended for breakfast, but we haven’t had a chance to try them out as we usually eat before leaving the house or cabin for the day. The are only open from 7am – 3pm.
What to bring
Because a trip to Hocking Hills State Park is usually focused on outdoor activities, you will want to pack appropriately. I strongly recommend that you pack appropriate hiking gear including long pants and good shoes. You will absolutely want to have a backpack to carry water, snacks, sunscreen, and bug repellent. (You can also make bug repellant jewelry following my instructions here.) If you plan to be on the water, you will also want to bring appropriate attire including decent water shoes. If you are going on an ATV adventure, I recommend bringing a buff to keep the dirt out of your mouth. Obviously, you will also want to bring your camera or GoPro as there are endless photo opportunities.
There are countless activity options available when visiting Hocking Hills State Park in Logan, Ohio. If you are considering planning a visit, I strongly encourage you to do so. This destination is one that puts nature at the forefront. Hocking Hills makes a great weekend or long weekend trip. It is located only about an hour south of Columbus, three hours southwest of Pittsburgh and Morgantown, and four hours from Lexington.
Keep in mind when visiting that the restaurants and activities are spaced out across several small towns and there is limited access to grocery stores (although there is a Walmart in Logan). You will also need to plan ahead because there is little to no cell service throughout the area. Because of this, I strongly recommend that you download the area map on your phone prior to your trip. If staying in a rental house or cabin, I also encourage you to plan a stop at the grocery store on your way to your rental.
Have you visited Hocking Hills? What are your favorite things to do?
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