The Hocking Hills “Cave Area”
There are many other parks in Hocking County
Lake Logan State Park
One of the best fishing lakes in Ohio is at Lake Logan State Park. The lake has northern pike, bass, bluegill, crappie, catfish and saugeye. Lake Logan also has a 527-foot swimming beach for those who would rather relax by the water.
They also rent pontoons, row boats canoes and paddle boats for those who prefer to be on the water. For more information Call 740-380-2956 or visit them on the web at: www.lakeloganboatrental.com . For hikers, the trailhead for the one-mile loop Pine Vista hiking trail is located across from the beach. Contact www.ohiodnr.com for fishing license information. Lake Logan State Park Map
Rockhouse State Park
Rockhouse is not only an unusual name, but an unusual place. It rates very highly on my “Can’t Miss It List“. The Indians were probably the first to take shelter in this rock formation. The Indians were followed by a rather bad group that included horse thieves, robbers, murderers and later bootleggers who used the cave as a hide out.
Today the area is visited by tourists who enjoy its natural beauty. The trail down to Rock House is quite steep because Mother Nature and time created “rooms” behind an actual cliff. Weathering has created a long corridor complete with window-like openings.
This area was so popular in the 1800’s that in 1835 a 16-room hotel complete with ballroom and livery stable was built where the park shelter house now stands. It even housed a U.S. Post Office that remained in use until the year 1925.
There are additional hiking trails that wind through the surrounding forest for the hiker who wants a firsthand look at the area’s vegetation and animal life. Read more at Rockhouse State Park. Rock House State Park Trail Map
Cantwell Cliffs State Park
Cantwell Cliffs is the northern-most of the state park areas. It is primarily a large horseshoe shaped cliff with a sheer drop-off of 150 feet. There is also a rock shelter or recess cave.
The trail down to the valley floors takes you through narrow passageways between large blocks of Black Hand sandstone. One of these is well known as “The Fat Woman’s Squeeze”.
Cantwell Cliffs is just south of the village of Rockbridge and located directly on State Route 374. It remains one of the lesser used of the six parks that comprise the Hocking Hills. Keep this in mind if you are visiting on a busy holiday weekend and want to get away from the crowds. Map of Cantwell Cliffs State Park
Conkle’s Hollow State Nature Preserve
Conkle’s Hollow is a deep and rocky gorge that is considered to be the deepest in the state. It received its name from a 1797 inscription found in the area bearing the name of an early settler, W. J. Conkle. Conkle’s Hollow offers a leisurely one mile hike through the valley floor where you can view the towering rock cliffs rising 250 feet above ground level. The landscape of this trail includes small caves and waterfalls along the trail. It is also paved for most of the trail making it wheel chair accessible.
For the more adventurous, there is a 2 1/2 mile Rim Trail that encircles the gorge and offers a view of the gorge below and the surrounding area. Extreme caution must be taken on this trail because is can be very dangerous, even in the summer. There are no safety rails and parts of the trail are very near the edge of the cliff. Conkle’s Hollow State Nature Preserve Trail Map and the Conkle’s Hollow Nature Preserve Brochure
The State Rock Climbing & Rappelling Area
The Hocking State Forest Rock Climbing and Rappelling Area is located off Big Pine Road just east of Conkle’s Hollow. It has nearly a mile of cliff that ranges up to one hundred feet and has more than a few challenges to the rock climber and rappeller.
If you are new to this sport, please work with someone experienced until you “learn the ropes”. The area is composed of soft sandstone so the use of climbing aids such as pitons and chocks is strongly discouraged. It is much safer to top rope.
The Hocking State Forest’s rock climbing and rappelling area closes at dark. Campfires are prohibited and please leave the area just as you found it so that others that come behind you can enjoy the beauty of the area.
Conkle’s Hollow is located 12 miles from Logan and can be reached by taking State Route 664 South, then turning north on to State Route 374. Stay on Route 374 for approximately one mile to the intersection of Big Pine Road. Turn right onto Big Pine traveling 1/4 mile east to the entrance of Conkle’s Hollow State Nature Preserve. Rock Climbing and Rappelling Area
Rockbridge State Nature Preserve
Hocking County has a natural rock bridge which is the largest one in the state. It rises 45 feet above the gorge below and the 100-foot long Black Hand sandstone span can be walked on from above and observed from the recess cave below.
This most unusual rock formation is at the Rockbridge State Nature Preserve off U.S. 33 between State Routes 374 and 180 on Dalton Road.
Rose Lake is a beautiful 17-acre spring-fed lake accessible from State Route 374. Rose Lake is stocked with trout, catfish, bass and sunfish. A ½ mile trail to Rose Lake through a pine forest is a great hike even if you don’t like to fish. A parking lot for fisherman or hikers is located on the opposite side of the trail to the lake. Contact www.ohiodnr.com for fishing license information. View Post
Close to Hocking County – Lake Hope State Park
Lake Hope State Park lies entirely within the Zaleski State Forest. Individual cottages are available for rental as well as Laurel Lodge which sleeps 22 people. A beautiful 192-site campground is suitable for tents or trailers. During the summer months there are three Rent-A-Camp units with equipment and two Camper Cabins that are rented by reservation.
Cyclists can explore the 10 mile Copperhead Loop at Lake Hope State Park. This trail’s steep hills and ravines offer challenges suited to intermediate and advanced cyclists. There is also a Sidewinder Loop which is 5 ½ miles, a Big Loop trail which is 16 miles and equally fun going in both directions. There is a total of 23 miles of mountain bike
trails in the park. Lake Hope State Park has a 23-mile singletrack bike trail that was chosen as Ohio’s top mountain bike trail by readers of “Mountain Bike Magazine.” The wooded singletrack, which is open to mountain bikes, offers plenty of bike riding options.
Canoes, kayaks and rowboats are available to rent on the lake. The phone number for the boat rental is 740-596-4938 Fishermen will find good catches of bluegill, catfish, crappie and largemouth bass at Lake Hope. There is even a fishing map of the lake. There is also a nice swimming beach located near the dam. Picnic areas with tables and grills are located at many secluded areas throughout the park for your enjoyment.
There are seventeen miles of hiking trails to explore and The Hope School House Interpretive Center features exhibits and programs on the area’s rich history.
Lake Hope has a lodge with a restaurant that overlooks the lake. It has a chef that prepares meals from locally grown produce and smokes meat with a wood burning firewood smoker.
The address for Lake Hope State Park is 27331 State Route 278, McArthur, Ohio 45651. For those who have explored the Hocking Hills on a regular basis, the Lake Hope area in Vinton County offers quite a lot of new options for a weekend getaway or vacation stay. Lake Hope Hiking and Biking Trails Lake Hope Mountain Bike Trails
Tar Hollow State Park
Tar Hollow has an unusual name which it received because it was a source of pine tar for the early settlers. Tar Hollow is in the southern part of Hocking County and is shared with Vinton and Ross counties. It offers a BMX bike trail and paddle boat rentals on Pine Lake. The lake has a 500 feet swimming beach and horse rental is offered seasonally by a private company from within the park.
Bluegill and other panfish provide good sport for fisherman on Pine Lake. There is campground near the lake. The General Store offers camping supplies. Pets are permitted at the campground. A group camp area is available for organized groups of up to 100 on a reservation basis.
Tar Hollow has 24 miles of hiking trails, 25 miles of bridle paths and a Horsemen‘s Campground. There is a 2 ½ mile mountain bike trail, 21 miles of backpack trails with five primitive camp sites along the trail and a miniature golf course. There are eight picnic shelters.
Tar Hollow is located at 16396 Tar Hollow Road close to Laurelville. The Park Office phone number is (740) 887-4818. With everything is has to offer, Tar Hollow is one of the best-kept secrets in the Hocking Hills area. Check it out on your next stay. Tar Hollow State Park Map