The Caves of Hocking Hills State Park
Rare recess caves fill this unbelievably beautiful Ohio park.
People don’t believe the pictures are from an Ohio park, but many who know of this incredible landscape consider it the most beautiful land in the Midwest. Striking rock formations speckle the park, which is filled with gorges and caves waiting to be explored.
These caves and gorges are more than just intriguing slivers of land to explore. They also speak to the park’s long geologic history.
Thousands of years ago, when the Wisconsin Glacier began to melt and recede, its waters bled across the land that’s now part of the park, rushing through cracks in the ground and scarring the earth with deep, winding gorges and recess caves, which are rock shelters carved into the soft sediment. The caves are certainly large enough to wander within—The Rock House cave has a ceiling that’s 25 feet high, and the main corridor is 200 feet long and up to 30 feet wide.
The human history is interesting, too. Old Man’s Cave is the most popular attraction and was named after a hermit from the late 1700s who lived in the cave. Ash Cave was named because when the colonial settlers first discovered it, they found mysterious, massive piles of ashes created by Native Americans waiting within.
Know Before You Go
The park is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There are ample opportunities for recreational activities like kayaking, rock climbing, swimming, and hiking, and campsites are available.
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