I forgot how close Hocking Hills was to Columbus. For some reason, I thought it was a two hour or longer trip, but it isn’t. Drivetime is only give or take one hour twenty minutes. This means hiking in one of the most beautiful places in Ohio can be a wonderful family day trip (especially breathtaking during the fall months). We went a few weeks ago for a short hike into Old Man’s Cave and detoured to see the Devil’s Bath Tub – we did not jump in, thank you. We had lots of little legs with us and a baby; but if you time it correctly and be on the ready to “backpack” the kids, a longer hike would be quite enjoyable.
My kids thoroughly enjoyed finding walking sticks, climbing into the caverns, throwing rocks into small pools of water, and generally being out in nature. We had fun being together as a family and with our friends, I think it’s important to get out of the “city” and enjoy some quality outdoor time.
If you are new to Ohio, Old Man’s Cave should be on your to-do list. The hike in is lovely and the trails are fairly easy. Please note that the trails are well traveled, and expect a number of other people around. Parts of the trails get narrow and the caverns hang low, just be aware of your surroundings to avoid injuries. Sturdy shoes are a good idea; river sandals would be my top choice because it is hard to stay out of water in spots…especially if you are trying to keep up with kids who could care less about soaking wet sneakers. Picnic areas are located at various trail heads and I would suggest eating before hiking, mainly to keep the kids from getting ravenous and also to keep them from complaining because they are ravenous. If food gets taken in because a child needs to have a snack for dietary reasons, please be sure to keep all trash and leftover snacks until a trashcan makes itself available – be kind to nature.
Staying the weekend in Hocking Hills is a great little get-away. Our troop camped for the weekend at Hocking Hills State Park. I’ll probably not camp there again because there were too many campers for me – I like more primitive camping, and don’t mind outhouses and not showering for a few days (gross, right?! heehee.). My friend and I also went ziplining with Canopy Tours. I won’t go into details, but it is not a good idea for people afraid of heights. There’s a ton of outdoor activity to keep a family busy for a few days, or a day hike and picnic lunch would be a wonderful way to spend a Saturday.
Old Man’s Cave Contact Information
Hocking Hills State Park
19852 State Route 664 S.
Logan, OH 43138
Park Office: (740) 385-6842
A few tips:
- Research the trails that lead to Old Man’s Cave and choose the best hike for your family.
- Pack a picnic lunch and eat outside. Bring plenty of water and snacks for after hiking, too.
- Bug spray and sunscreen are a good idea.
- Remember sturdy shoes and a change of shoes or clothes for littles is not a bad idea.
- Bathroom breaks *before* going hiking. There are no port-o-potties on the trails. Plan accordingly.
- No strollers or wheelchairs on trails. There are some lookout points for people in wheelchairs – be sure to ask the park office if you need this information.
- If you decide to camp, remember that generally weekends require a two-night stay.