Hidden gems of Hocking Hills: Trails with less traffic

The trail through Rock House takes visitors through the only true cave in Hocking Hills State Park.

Fall hiking in Hocking Hills State Park can be exhilarating.

The park’s craggy cliffs and outcroppings, sun-dappled foliage and misty streams and waterfalls make the perfect backdrops for an autumn outing.

However, the trails can also be packed with hikers, especially on weekends along popular routes at Old Man’s Cave and Ash Cave.

For visitors looking for less company but no less scenery, several other hikes in and near the 2,356-acre state park offer trails (and parking lots) that are often less crowded than those at the more well-known sites.

Things to do in Ohio:Exploring 4 hidden gems and unseen corners of southeast Ohio

Old stone steps offer a tricky, but beautiful, passage through a tight squeeze at Cantwell Cliffs.

Hiking at Hocking Hills

Trails at Cantwell Cliffs, Rock House and Conkle’s Hollow State Nature Preserve are all located along a winding, scenic stretch of Ohio 374 north of Old Man’s Cave that seems made for filming car commercials. A drive along the scenic route can be delightful, with hair-pin turns threading up and down through thick forests and around majestic rock formations.

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