SPOTLIGHT: Things to Do in and Around Hocking Hills State Park

By Katie Griffing

SPOTLIGHT: Things to Do in and Around Hocking Hills State Park

Any time is the perfect time of year to hit the road and soak in the beauty of Ohio’s state parks. Whether you’re looking to book a cabin space or simply spend the day exploring, the scenic Hocking Hills State Park is an excellent site for adventure. Find towering cliffs, incredible caves, and exciting nearby attractions. Here are all the great things to do in and around Hocking Hills State Park. 

1. Hocking Hills State Park

If you’re in Ohio and looking for a great weekend getaway, then make your way to Hocking Hills State Park, one of the most popular recreational areas in the state. This sprawling park features miles of tranquil trails and waterfalls, as well as caves and cliffs for the more adventurous thrill-seekers. 

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2. Hike to Cantwell Cliffs

Located in the Northern part of Hocking Hills State Park, Cantwell Cliffs is a remote hiking destination meant for more advanced hikers. It’s a challenging hike, but those who are up to the challenge will be rewarded with one of the most stunning views in all of Hocking County. The narrow trail winds through the deep valley, steep cliffs, and there is a rock shelter.

3. Take in the views at Ash Cave

In the southernmost part of Hocking Hills State Park, visitors will encounter Ash Cave—the largest recess cave in the state. To get to the cave, visitors must make their way through a short but narrow gorge lined with incredible flora. Upon arrival at the cave, visitors can soak in the stunning views of the horseshoe-shaped cave and cascade. 

4. Stay the night at Happy Hills

Campers can head to Happy Hills, a beautiful campground located near the state park attractions that features both spacious campsites and cabins for larger parties. A stay at Happy Hills includes access to a private fishing lake, playground, and modern facilities for showering and doing laundry. Wi-Fi and cable television are also available throughout the campground so you won’t feel like you’re far from home!

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5. Hunt for treasure at the Logan Antique Mall

Just 20 minutes away from Hocking Hills State Park, a visit to the Logan Antique Mall is a must for any lover of antiques. Featuring over 100 vendors, visitors can comb through a variety of furniture, pottery, glassware, and memorabilia from every decade. Logan Antique Mall is also open seven days a week. 

Antique stores are the best

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6. Take a stroll through downtown Nelsonville

Another place not to miss in the scenic Hocking Hills is a visit to downtown Nelsonville. Dozens of galleries and retail shops line the streets carrying everything them from unique gifts, fine art, handmade soap, fabrics, antiques, and more. Special events are also on the schedule every month, so be sure to check the calendar when planning your visit.

7. Enjoy comfort food and music at Rhapsody

For a comforting meal after a long day of exploring, head to Rhapsody, a casual fine dining restaurant located in downtown Nelsonville. Rhapsody is famous for its comfort food prepared from locally-grown produce and ingredients, such as house-made cheese spreads and locally-raised chicken dishes.

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