Hocking Hills State Park
Okay, I must confess. When I previously thought of Ohio, I did not think of incredible hiking, beautiful state parks or amazing varied terrain to explore. Wow, was I ever wrong! Southeastern Ohio is the home of Hocking Hills State Park. This park is by far one of the most incredible state parks I have ever experienced.
What to expect
If you are not a hiker but love scenic drives, this is a beautiful area to drive around. We love moving as much as we can so we could not wait to explore this area on foot. Within the park, there are over 25 miles of trails spread over seven different hiking areas: Ash Cave, Cantwell Cliffs, Cedar Falls, Conkle’s Hollow, Hemlock Bridge, Old Man’s Cave and Rock House. These trails are incredible. If you are a beginner hiker or an avid hiker, you will love the beauty of the state park. There is a variety of terrain and scenery you will experience. You will find caves, rocks and waterfalls. Many of the trails are one way and there are a lot of steps throughout the hikes.
If you are a beginner hiker, you may find some trails a bit more difficult. There are many drop offs and potentially dangerous spots. If you have small children, or children who like to run ahead, some of these trails may not be the best choice. They also offer handicapped and paved trails for those who appreciate, or need, a flat surface.
Do not expect to have internet service within the park. For this reason, I recommend downloading trail maps BEFORE arriving.
What to bring
I would definitely recommend decent hiking shoes with excellent tread (see my recommendation below). There are many areas that could be slippery where you will appreciate the grip. I brought my hiking poles which proved helpful in many areas. As with any hike, plenty of water and snacks, are a must. A flashlight, first aid kit and emergency equipment are also important. If you enjoy healthy snacks without all of the junk and preservatives, I recommend trying my homemade “cookie balls” (energy bites). They are easy to make, pack and are nutrient dense. We love to bring a few of these in our packs during hiking.
I fell in love with these Soloman X Ultra 3GTX which have led me on many hikes and climbs throughout Arizona, Colorado, South Dakota, Ohio, Michigan and Indiana. To help prevent blisters, I like to use moleskin on hot spots and love using these hiking socks – Ininji toe socks, REI liners with socks or Drymax. I have suffered HORRIBLE blisters and these are my “go-to” socks and tips. REI has a few tips regarding blisters you can read about HERE.