One of my family’s favorite ways to spend a day is hiking and photographing in the Hocking Hills State Park. We have visited so many times and it seems there is always something new to see and so much beauty soak up. Which area to hike in is left totally up to what kind of challenge you are willing to take on and there are some fantastic options for families with even small children.
Hiking in Hocking Hills State Park
Ash Cave, which is a really large recessed cave/cliff area, is one great option. We have been able to visit this cave since my children were toddlers because of the ease of access. It has a flat paved path that leads to a sandy cave bottom that my kids have always loved. For this visit though, we chose to enjoy Old Man’s Cave and Rock House.
My children are getting older which makes me more confident in their ability to maneuver stairs, bridges, and their ability to stay on and navigate somewhat rugged trails. This also makes the activity of hiking in Hocking Hills State Park more feasible. The Upper Falls part of Old Man’s Cave isn’t far from the parking area and it’s quite picturesque with a stone bridge and waterfall. It’s easy to see why this is the park’s most popular area. We spent a lot of time photographing and exploring the waterfalls and natural formations of Old Man’s Cave. There was a tunnel (my kids loved it!) and lots of stairs on the rest of the hike to the lower falls and on through it’s course. This trail would have made me nervous with smaller kids because there were a couple of areas with steep drop-offs.
It rained just before we arrived which created a nice steamy foggy atmosphere and everything was so fresh and green. I was glad I packed ponchos and that the kids and I had on hiking sandals. Hiking sandals are great for kids because they are comfy and my little ones like to stomp around in the water. The sandals dry quickly and make for a decent grip on the slippery parts of our path. I was also glad I packed the bug repellent too because it was the perfect humid weather for mosquitoes.
The sun poked back through the clouds by the time we made it back to the car. We found a picnic table and ate our packed lunch while watching birds and squirrels in the trees around us. Such a lovely scenic place! Then we were off to Rock House. This trail loop was pretty short but definitely felt more like serious hiking with some steep ups and downs. It was well worth it because we all loved the beautiful sandstone cave.
We will definitely be returning soon for a new adventure and to enjoy more of the beautiful things at this amazing park. If you haven’t already, try hiking in Hocking Hills State Park! It’s a wonderful way to spend the day with your family!