Explore the Hocking Hills

To get started with your vacation planning, contact the Hocking Hills Tourism Association at 1-800-HOCKING to order the Visitors’ Guide. Or visit their web site at ExploreHockingHills.com.

Then visit the Friends of the Hocking Hills and the Tourism Association’s events to find out what’s going on in the Hocking Hills

Finally, ask us! We have an unlimited supply of opinions and ideas.

Biking

Many brave souls bike through the Hocking Hills. The Inn at Cedar Falls has a very nice page that describes mountain biking and road biking trails. Please note that our roads are hilly and curvy. Let’s be careful out there people.

However, the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway, is a great alternative. It’s a 17 mile bikeway on the old Columbus and Hocking Valley Railroad bed. The north entry point is at Hocking College in Nelsonville and the south entry point is near Ohio University in Athens. Nelsonville is about 45 minutes from Marsh Hollow.

Canoeing

There are several canoe liveries offering trips down the Hocking River. The Hocking Hills Canoe Livery in Logan is closest to Marsh Hollow and several of our guests have enjoyed their trips on the Hocking River. Canoe liveries do not operate during the winter.

Dining

If you don’t feel like cooking during your entire stay at Marsh Hollow, there are plenty of great places to eat in the Hocking Hills. Logan offers many of the national chain restaurants, such as Bob Evans, McDonalds, Wendy’s, Subway, KFC and Dairy Queen (along with many local favorites).

Laurelville is home to both the Village Cafe and Old Town Diner, classic small town eateries. Note that the Old Town Diner hours are very limited and not publicized!

We would like to highlight a few of our favorites for you:
20 minutes or less from Marsh Hollow

  • Hocking Hills State Park Dining Lodge – Located on SR 664 near Old Man’s Cave, offers a dining room now open year round and meeting rooms.  The dining room serves beer and wine and has a fabulous  menu. Come as you are and enjoy very good breakfasts, lunches and dinners.
  • Glenlaurel Inn – An absolutely charming Scottish inn. Very fine dining. Reservations at 1-800-809-REST.
  • The Inn at Cedar Falls – still Mary’s favorite place to celebrate her birthday. As the Inn’s web page says “The dining is exquisite but the dress is casual.” Dinner served everyday at several seatings. Reservations (required) at 1-800-65-FALLS.
  • Jimbo’s Bar & Diner – You can find Jimbo’s at 23356 State Route 56, South Bloomingville, OH. Yes, it is somewhat of a biker bar, but it’s also a place to get a great hamburger – big and juicy, but we love the “Hog Burger” a very tasty pure pork, non-fatty (not sausage) burger. Don’t expect to order any imported beer and you’ll be happy with the selection. The jukebox is excellent and there are two pool tables. Open Thursday through Sunday, in season only.
  • The Ridge Inn is a very good restaurant in Laurelville on Route 56, just across the street from the Apple House. Fridays are steak night and they know how to cook a steak. We like that we can bring our own wine to enjoy with dinner – they’ll open it and provide glasses. Open for breakfast, lunch & dinner.
  • South Bloomingville Tavern is located on State Route 56 just outside of the village. If you want local flavor, this is the place. We enjoy the steakburgers and fries, but our friend Jane always opts for the sweet potato fries. Enjoy pool, darts and on Wednesday nights, the Queen of Hearts game. Not for kids or sensitive souls.
  • Village Cafe – Open at 6 a.m. daily, we like the Village Cafe in Laurelville for breakfast on Sunday, or any day. Order the home fries. Located on State Route 56. And the Cafe now accepts credit cards.

25 to 40 minutes from Marsh Hollow

  • Bush’s Restaurant – Located at 428 E. Front St. in Logan, Bush’s is a great place for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Wednesday’s special is beans and cornbread! Big variety of pies. Needs a serious furniture/decor upgrade.
  • Coach House Tea Room – located at Ravenwood Castle in neighboring Vinton county, just off of Route 93. It’s only open May through October. For directions and reservations, call 800-477-1541.
  • Home Tavern– Located at 363 Gallagher Ave in Logan, near the Washboard Factory. This is a new favorite for us. Mary particularly likes the country fried steak sandwich. Lots of local meetings, celebrations and card playing takes place here.
  • Jack’s Steak House – A Logan landmark. Great steaks in a casual atmosphere.
  • Millstone BBQ – A wonderful addition to the Hocking Hills restaurant line-up. Absolutely delicious barbeque sandwiches, ribs and more. Mary loves it for the sweet potato fries and sweet cornbread muffins that come with every meal. Entertainment on the weekends in the summer.
  • Olde Dutch Restaurant – Lots of real good homestyle food, with the emphasis on lots. The buffet is a great value. Try not to overeat but definitely try the fried chicken. It’s the best in the Hills (tied with the Park’s Dining Lodge). Located in Logan in Rempel’s Grove on Route 664.
  • Pizza Crossing is located in Logan and is by far our favorite pizza in the Hocking Hills. VERY GOOD!

Here’s a different way to dine (weather permitting): Pack up some cold fried chicken, buttered bread, a couple of apples and some brownies. Hike up the east rim trail at Conkles Hollow and find a comfortable (and safe) spot on the rim. Watch the sun begin to set over the gorge while you nibble.

Fishing

Lake Logan, Rose Lake on State Route 374 and Clear Creek Metro Park (in northern Hocking county) all offer fishing. Boat rental is available at Lake Logan. We rented a pontoon boat one year, took the dog too, and had a great time. By the way Lake Logan has a nice little beach.
Nearby Tar Hollow State Park also features a small lake, with a beach, and boat rental.
Be sure to bring your Ohio fishing license. Apply online at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources!

Geocaching

We’ve had a GPS unit for years. Basically, geocaching is using your GPS to find something someone has hidden. For more information, go to Geocaching.com and use zip codes 43135, 43152  or 43138 to locate geocaches close to Marsh Hollow.

By the way, we are the HockingHunters at Geocaching.com.

Golf

Yes, there is golf, both miniature and the real thing, in Hocking county. Try Adventure Golf at Rempel’s Grove for challenging miniature golf. There’s also a miniature golf course at the Hocking Hills Market on Route 33.

The Hocking Hills Golf Club is a very nice but more conventional (very hilly) golf course located south of Logan. Open year round. Formerly known as The Brass Ring, the club also has a restaurant. We haven’t visited since it’s been under new management.

Hiking

The Hocking Hills State Park hiking trails include six separate natural areas, each with its own trails:

  • Ash Cave – offers a very easy, short trail into the cave (really a rock shelter) as well as a more difficult rim trail. Ash Cave features a waterfall in season or anytime there’s been enough rain. Also connects to Cedar Falls via a 3 mile section of the Buckeye Trail. Located on Route 56.
  • Cantwell Cliffs – a lot of steps, but the cliffs are worth it. Located on Route 374.
  • Cedar Falls –  Connects to Ash Cave via a 3 mile section of the Buckeye Trail and to Old Man’s Cave via another 3 mile section. The 3 mile gorge trail to Old Man’s Cave is breathtaking. Located on Route 374.
  • Lake Logan – although known more for boating, swimming & fishing, the park includes the one-mile Pine Vista Hiking Trail, located across Lake Logan Road from the beach. In addition, the Buckeye Trail runs through the northwest end of the park toward the Hocking State Forest.
  • Old Man’s Cave – the most popular and fun natural area, with lots of water running through it. Highlights include the Devil’s Bathtub, and the Upper and Lower Falls. Connects to Cedar Falls via a 3 mile section of the Buckeye Trail. Also has a Visitors Center. Located on Route 374/664 about 7 miles from Marsh Hollow.
  • Rock House – the only true cave. Walking down into the area is easy, and the cave is great, but the climb out is all uphill. Located on Route 374, about 4 1/2 miles from Marsh Hollow.

While not a part of the Hocking Hills State Park, Conkles Hollow State Nature Preserve is our favorite destination in the Hocking Hills. The gorge trail is only about 1/2 mile long and ends at the base of a waterfall. The 2 1/2 mile rim trail is spectacular but not suitable for small children as it features high cliffs and no guard rails. We hike this trail every New Year’s Day, unless closed because of ice! Conkles Hollow is located on Big Pine Road, near the intersection with Route 374, about 4 1/2 miles from Marsh Hollow.

Horseback Riding

Spotted Horse Ranch and Happy Trails Horseback Rides (closed in winter) are close to Marsh Hollow. We have also enjoyed several trail rides at Uncle Buck’s.

Becky runs a one-of-a-kind riding stable at Blue Moon Acres, which is also very close to Marsh Hollow. We follow them on Facebook, and they have all very happy guests. Reservations are required for the small private rides. Generally, they do not offer trail rides on Sundays. Closed approximately Thanksgiving to March 1.

Shopping

There are lots of places to shop for antiques and arts & crafts in the Hocking Hills. Contact the Hocking Hills Tourism Association at 1-800-HOCKING and ask for the Visitors Guide. Or visit their web site. Here are just a few we enjoy browsing through (there are many, many more great shops and galleries):

  • Hocking Hills Market – located on U.S. 33, east of Logan. Lots of shops, a big outdoor flea market on the weekends, and several yummy places to eat. You can also spend an entire morning or afternoon at Rempel’s Grove: antiques, crafts, glassware outlet, miniature golf & lunch or dinner at Olde Dutch.
  • Laurelville: Laurelville Fruit Farm (the BEST apples & peaches in season, plus Laurelville Cider; on Route 56 in the village.
  • Nelsonville: Rocky Factory Outlet Store. 3 floors of great deals on shoes, boots, clothing, home decorations and more. Worth the 45 minute drive from Marsh Hollow and is a MUST visit. Nelsonville’s Public Square is surrounded by shops and art galleries, making this a great day trip from Marsh Hollow.
  • Check out the Art of the Hocking Hills web site for a guide to the artisans, galleries and cultural centers of southeastern Ohio. Note that many artists are located outside of Hocking county.

Lancaster, about 45 minutes away, and Athens, about 1 hour away offer antique, craft, fine art and just about any other kind of shopping you might want.

Special Treats and Activities

  • The Old Bear’s Den offers 5 hour photography workshops by appointment with as little as 12 hours notice. Call Eric Hoffman at 740-380-2039 for more information.
  • Blue Valley Massage offers in-cabin massage therapy and spa treatments. Our guests have been very pleased with their services.
  • Hocking Hills Canopy Tour, just off of U.S. 33 in the Rockbridge area, offers the first zipline in the midwest. This is a very well maintained course, constructed in a beautiful forest along the Hocking River, and they’ve added a super fast zip line to their original series of zips. The guides are well-trained and entertaining. This will make your Hocking Hills vacation unforgettable. And check out their DragonFly Zipline just for kids!

Swimming

The Hocking Hills Dining Lodge has a great outdoor swimming pool open to the public. Day-use of the pool between Memorial Day and Labor Day is available for a nominal fee. Passes can be purchased at the pool. Shallow end is great for toddlers! And there’s a cool three tube slide for older kids.

There are also small beaches at both Lake Logan and Tar Hollow State Parks. Despite what you may see while hiking through the Hocking Hills, swimming is NOT permitted in waterfall pools or streams.