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If you are planning to visit Hocking Hills State Park, there is one hiking trail you must do. Old Man’s Cave. It is without a doubt the best hiking trail in Hocking Hills.
It has waterfalls, caves, stone bridges, concrete bridges, even a bathtub!
Bring your child or your dog because Old Man’s Cave in Hocking Hills is perfect for both.
Since Hocking Hills State Park re-opened in July, 2020, the trails are one-way. In fact, they plan on making this a permanent change. Signage is clear and tells you where to begin your hike.
Hiking Old Mans Cave is a moderately rated 1-mile hike. I thought it was pretty easy, but there are quite a few steps – maybe that’s what make it a moderate rank.
Let’s get into the hiking details!
Parking at Old Man’s Cave
The parking lot easily holds 100 cars, although I didn’t count!
It is a nicely paved lot right in front of the new Hocking Hills Visitor Center. Much larger than at Ash Cave.
We arrived quite early on a summer morning around 8:15 and there were less than 10 cars parked.
Old Man’s Cave address:
19852 State Route 664 Logan, OH 43138
Unless you need to stop at the Visitor’s Center first, the beginning of the trail starts on a path in front of the parked cars and to the left.
The first natural beauty you come to on Old Man’s Cave trail is the Upper Falls.
Our hike was in the summer so the ‘falls’ were more like a ‘trickle’ at this point. However, it was still gorgeous and worth going down the path to get the shot in the picture below.
These waterfalls drop into a stream that meanders its way through a variety of recessed caves and rock formations. Due to this, we get the breathtakingly beautiful views we see today while hiking through the Hocking Hills region.
The sandstone in the rock known as Devil’s Bathtub is more tightly cemented together. Because of the direction of the stream, the only place for it to go is down. This is what created the oval bowl shaped like a bathtub.
Can you swim in Devil’s Bathtub?
Although it may look like a great place for a cool dip in the water, no, you are not allowed to swim in Devil’s Bathtub.
In fact, with the tub being several feet deep, it is actually almost impossible to get out of. There is no swimming or wading allowed due to it being dangerous, prohibited and possibly cause wildlife damage.
Old Mans Cave Trail
As mentioned before, this is a one-way trail of moderate intensity. I loved this trail because there were interesting twist and turns to it.
Whether that’s climbing up steps, climbing down steps through a tunnel, walking on concrete stepping stones over shallow water or walking across stone bridges, there was something different at every turn.
It wasn’t boring!
That’s what makes it my favorite Hocking Hills hiking trail.
The recess of Old Man’s Cave is the most exquisite and unique feature in this park.
It sits 75 feet above the stream and measures 250 feet long.
Legend has it a recluse named Richard Rowe lived in this recess along with his two dogs in the 1800’s. Because of this, people started calling it Old Man’s Cave.
Once you climb the stone steps leading up to the cave, you walk through it and come out the other side. The scenery leading up to the cave is the prettiest in the whole park.
Once you exit the cave, hike up some steps and find the end of Old Man’s Cave trail. You’ll be led to the back of the Visitor Center which you pass and then see the parking lot in front of you.
Hocking Hills State Park
Even as an Ohio native, 2020 is the first year I’ve been to Hocking Hills. Really, I don’t know why I waited so long! If you are looking for a great hiking area, you definitely need to come here.
As part of the Hocking Hills State Park, there are 6 parks and 2 nature preserves:
- Ash Cave
- Cantwell Cliffs
- Cedar Falls
- Old Man’s Cave
- Rock House
- Whispering Cave
- Conkle’s Hollow Nature Preserve
- Rockbridge State Nature Preserve
Please note that dogs are not allowed in the nature preserves.
Are you planning to stay in the area for a few days and need a place to sleep? We loved Sandstone Ridge with Carefree Cabins in Hocking Hills. Absolutely recommend it for parties up to four people.
Have you been to the Hocking Hills area? If so, what is your favorite trail? I can’t wait to go back and check out some more!
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