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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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