I would just like to let everyone know that OHIO law does not require HOCKING HILLS STATE PARK to post any park rules on the park ANYWHERE. Breaking one of these rules can result in a ticket costing you AT LEAST $135, as it did me. The officer, badge number 5283, told us she was issuing us an "Off Trail" ticket at the Old Man's Cave park and that this was for our safety, yet she did not disagree with the law allowing the park to not post rules where everyone can see them. However, there is a very small sign with at least 12pt font, much too small to see when driving by in a car, explaining that you must follow the rules and you may be fined. It does not state the rules. If you are like me and you come down from the campground, which is a marked trail from the campground to Old Man's Cave, not once would you pass this sign, unless you decided to walk out of your way to the parking lot. Please be warned, read your rules, and don't give park rangers or law makers the time of day. They don't deserve it because they are only looking to steal your college money, not "save your life".
Other features of the rock include cross-bedding, honeycomb weathering and slump blocks. The first is noticeable as diagonal lines in the rock intersecting horizontal ones. It is actually the cross section of an ancient sand bar in the delta and was caused by changing ocean currents. Honeycomb weathering looks like the small holes in a beehive comb. They are formed by differential weathering which comes about when water, moving down through the permeable sandstone, washes out small pockets of loosely cemented sand grains. Finally, the huge slump blocks of rock littering the streams tumble from near by cliffs when cracks widen to the extent that the block is no longer supported by the main cliff.
Although the glaciers never reached the park areas, their influence is still seen here in the form of the vegetation growing in the gorges. The glaciers changed the climate of all Ohio to a moist, cool environment. Upon their retreat, this condition persisted only in a few places such as the deep gorges of Hocking County. Therefore, the towering eastern hemlocks, the Canada yew and the yellow and black birch tell of a cool period 10,000 years ago
Go ziplining in the Hocking Hills! The Hocking Peaks Outdoor Adventure Park is less than five minutes from Old Man's Cave and has 17 ziplines and dozens of aerial obstacles you have to traverse to get around the course. The entire course takes about two hours. There are OGO balls, rappelling, ATV obstacle courses and a disc golf course at the outdoor adventure park too. Follow the link below for an insider's guide to the Hocking Hills and videos from the adventure park.
There are over 25 miles of trails winding through Hocking Hills State Park. Each trail is unique- offering visitors to the park breathtaking views of streams with cascading waterfalls, mysterious, dark gorges and rugged, awesome ridges. Trails lead to recess caves at Ash Cave and Cantwell Cliffs, through towering hemlocks at Cedar Falls and rises 200 feet above the ground along the rim of Conkle's Hollow.
From guided night hikes through the dim recesses of Ash Cave in the spring to a snow-covered exploration for Ohio's elusive owls in the winter, the park offers its visitors programs all year long.
Join astronomers in stargazing on a cold, winter night, learn about some shady characters who hid out in the gorge long ago or eavesdrop on a bat's conversation as it catches its prey
Located in the picturesque sandstone region of Southeastern Ohio, Hocking Hills State Park encompasses some of the most scenic areas in the entire state. Rock outcrops, deep cool gorges, and waterfalls are found throughout the 6 main park areas. The pristine beauty of the area is enhanced by the abundance of wildlife found throughout the Hocking region. Visitors to the park can almost bet they'll see Ohio wildlife such as white tailed deer, wild turkey or even the cumbersome box turtle
This review is on a beautiful peace of heaven in central Ohio. About forty miles south of Columbus you will find one of the prettiest spots in the world. If you want to see one of the most beautiful places in the Ohio, go to Hocking Hills State Park. This park boasts some of Ohio's most beautiful natural features. The park as a whole includes three smaller sights: Old Man's Caves, Cedar Falls, and Ash Caves. While these aren't technically caves, they are all above ground; they're recesses of sandstone, they are still a wonderful sight to see.
There is a wonderful walking trail that connects each of the smaller parks. The trail is about 6 miles long, and takes about two and a half to three hours to walk. At each of the parks is a small picnic area where you can rest and have a snack. Old Man's caves has a large visitors center, where you can find out more on this history of the area, and maps to show you where to go. Old man's caves also has a camping area and a beautiful lodge to stay at.
The best time to visit this area is in the late spring, summer, or early fall. When it is colder, ice begins to develop, and many people have fallen and really hurt themselves. It's best to pick a nice sunny day to go; it's better not to go when it's too hot, but it is always cooler there than the surrounding areas.
Old Man's Cave is located just off State Route 664 across from the tiered parking lot at Hocking Hills State Park. Within a stones throw is the Naturalist Log Cabin and the newly renovated Hocking Hills State Park Visitor Center.
Interesting things to look for:
Old Man's Cave was aptly named for an early settler, Richard Rowe, who set up living quarters in one of the many recess caves in the area after the Civil War. Killed by an accidental blast of his own gun, it is said local native Indians buried him somewhere near the entrance of the Cave. Take a guess where he is allegedly buried in one of the recess caves of the park.
Devil's Bathtub-a churning tub of water spilling into the creek below.
Waterfalls, waterfalls, waterfalls.
Sphinx Head-at the far end of the trail, a rock formation taking the form of a sphinx head.
Length: Old Man's Cave is approximately 1 mile long and takes about an hour to hike.
Devil's Bath Tub is a fascinating piece of streambed in the Upper Gorge area of the Old Man's Cave unit of Hocking Hills State Park in southeastern Ohio. This pothole in the relatively weak middle layer of the Blackhand sandstone is constantly being enlarged and deepened by the swirling action of Old Man's Creek.
A local legend has it that this pool extends down into the depths of Hades, the devil's home. Personally, I find it too beautiful and awe-inspiring to feel any connection other than to the Creator.
Actually, along with the movement of the earth, it's really nothing more than water and erosion that made this place we call Hocking Hills. In fact, your own back yard might be able to take on this same effect with a hose, a shovel and some earthmoving equipment. Oh and you'll also need a few million years of patience too. That's about how long it took just for the water to erode away at the surface to form the deep pockets, cracks and grooves.
One of the most popular attractions at Hocking Hills State Park, Old Man's Cave is a grand display of nature's beauty with its covering of Eastern Hemlocks, cliffs and waterfalls. Thousands of years of water flowing through the valley have cut away the Blackhand Sandstone and provided a trail for visitors to follow.
This section begins northeast of Logan at SR 664 and Walnut Dawler Road. The trail meanders southwest through Enterprise and skirts the SE side of SR-33 were it enters Lake Logan State Park at the levee. Near here, we honor one of the Buckeye Trail's founders, William (Bill) Miller, by naming a short section after him. Cross Duck Creek on a new narrow foot bridge and continue south on back country roads, through the hemlocks in Hocking State Forest. The trail crosses Big Pine Creek on a large-elevated steel bridge and continues into the Old Man's Cave area. Here you will find primitive and class "A" camping after hiking a steep paved road. The main attractions in this area are: Conkles Hollow, Old Man's Cave, Cedar Falls and Aah Cave. Old Man's Cave area offers, parking, tables, toilets, water, and dining lodge. Here too, we honor a famous founder, Grandma Gatewood, by naming a portion of the trail in her name. Stop, rest and view 350 million years of geology and thousands of years of human history. We leave this area at Ash Cave by crossing SR 56 and entering TWP 254. Hiking back country roads and steep hills we leave the Old Man's Cave section and enter the Scioto Trail section at SR 327 and Clark Hollow Road.
Old Man’s Cave is a scenic attraction of Hocking Hills State Park. The park is actually composed of six separate areas and encompasses some of the most diverse and fascinating terrain in the state. The area is administered by the Ohio Department of Natural Resource’s Division of Parks and Recreation.
The kids enjoyed hiking around the trails and climbing around the rocks and caves. Very fun and active day.
Parking & restrooms: Park in the parking lot. There are restrooms located across the road and to the right from the parking area. There is also a snack bar open during the summer.
Maps: A good map is highly recommended. Obtain the Old Man's Cave Section map from the Buckeye Trail Association
Description: This hike makes use of the Buckeye Trail and the white blazed Bypass Bridle Trail to create a loop hike. Two options offer either a 6 mile or 10 mile round trip. The hike starts on the Buckeye Trail where it crosses SR 664/374 near Old Man's Cave and follows the BT until it crosses SR 56. Here hikers switch to the Bridle Trail for the return trip.
This is a moderately hard hike down in the most beautiful gorge in Ohio. You will be walking under, over and around magnificent rock formations. You will see the twisted remains of the violent flooding destruction from 1997. All around, the stately hemlocks shelter you from the cold winds in winter and provide cool shade in the summer.