Rock House, Hocking Hills

Rock House signage

In Ohio we are blessed with an amazingly diverse state park system. For many Ohioans, and certainly for most in central and southern Ohio, the Hocking Hills State Park is the crown jewel.

Growing up in Pickaway County, we were close enough to visit the Hocking Hills several times a year. We camped in the summer, did some leaf peeping in the fall, and hiked the trails in the winter for a truly magical journey.

Hikers pose in traditional OH-IO pose in the Hocking Hills State Park.
My family striking the additional OH-IO pose inside of Rock House in the Hocking Hills.

Eventually, I’ll share some of those travels and some pictures from my childhood. In the meantime I wanted to share with you my last trip to Rock House. It’s been a few years, but it’s one of my favorite hikes in Ohio.

A Cautiously Moderate Hike

Let me preface my review with a bit of truth. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources site lists the half mile hike to Rock House as moderate. I would say parts of the trail can be quite steep and might not be appropriate for hikers with limited physical abilities.

The woods surrounding Rock House in the Hocking Hills and a view of the cave interior.
A short hike through the woods (left) brings you to the base of the Rock House. View on the right is down the length of the cave.

Additionally, if you have small children, use caution. Small children seem to regard the Rock House cave structure as a large play room. I certainly don’t mind kids, so that’s not my concern. However, there are several “windows” out of the cave structure that could lead to serious falls and accidents do occur in the park. My own children made me nervous here when they were younger and we adopted a hand-holding policy for that reason.

History of Rock House

Rock House formed as water eroded the sandstone creating a cave. It is, in fact, the only true cave in the Hocking Hills State Park system. The large house structure is approximately 25 feet high, thirty feet wide, and over 200 feet long.

Views along the cliff face and up toward the rim of the cave in Hocking Hills State Park.
On the left: steps lead down the cliff wall from the Rock House. Right: View towards the rim of the cave.

While Rock House gets its name from the fact that it does indeed resemble a house, it has also historically served as a home for native peoples. Evidence of native Americans has been found in the cave. Additionally, during the 1800s robbers and outlaws, used Rock House as their hide out.

Visiting Rock House

If you are planning a visit to Rock House, try to shoot for a mid-week slot. Like Old Man’s Cave, Rock House can become quite crowded. If a weekend visit can’t be avoided, you might try one of the other trails. I highly recommend Cedar Falls. It was always one of my favorites.

Views of the windows and doors inside Rock House cave in Hocking Hills State Park.
On the left: One of the many windows from rock house and on the right, one of the doors.

You may want to take a hiking stick. Most of the terrain is fairly accommodating, but as mentioned there are some steep sections.

There are also picnic tables available if you’d like to pack a lunch. If you would like to stop to eat there are several good options in the area. If you are coming through Logan from US route 33, I would recommend Millstone BBQ. I’ve eaten there a few times and always found a delicious meal.

Shelter house at Rock House in Hocking Hills State Park.
Picnic tables, shelter houses, and on site restrooms are available.

Hocking Hills Region

If you’re looking for an outdoor adventure, you really can’t go wrong with the Hocking Hills area. In addition to the state parks, the area is now populated with cabin rentals, go-cart tracks, canoe liveries, and more. So in addition to the natural features, you’re able to take in an entire vacation experience.

View of one of the windows in Rock House in Hocking Hills State Park.
Another view out one of the Rock House windows.

Check back later and I’ll be sharing some of my wonderful pictures of the Hocking Hills from the 1970s and 1980s. And if you’re looking for an Ohio adventure, be sure to click though the Day Trips link to follow us in FindingOhio one stop at a time. And, as always, we really appreciate you sharing our articles on social media!

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