Hocking Hills with Kids + a Baby | Hocking Hills Family Trip

Taken at Conkles Hollow

Hocking Hills is a perfect family trip & great for beginner hikers in the family. This trip has been in the making for quite some time! We have had it on our list for years & we finally planned it for Spring of 2020. Well, as I am sure you could have guessed as soon as I said 2020, that trip got canceled. We were at home & the state parks were shut down. So we replanned it for 2021! We went the weekend of Mother's Day & it was the most perfect weekend I could have asked for. If you are anywhere near Hocking Hills State Park in Logan, Ohio I highly, highly recommend going! 

Don't be worried about the hiking with your kiddos at Hocking Hills. Hocking Hills is extremely kid & family-friendly! All of the trails are extremely well-maintained some are even wheelchair accessible & stroller friendly because they are paved. There are, in some trails, lots of stairs. But even the trails at Hocking Hills marked as moderate were not hard at all. That is coming from a very, very out of shape person :P

For reference by girls were ages 9 & 10 and my son was 5 months at the time of this trip.

Every trail we went on we kept saying how we didn't feel like we were even in the United States let alone Ohio. It felt like we were in the jungle in Costa Rica or something. 

We didn't get to go to every trail, but we can't wait to come back & finish our list. All of the trails I mention below include a waterfall(s) & are easily done by children 6+ {I am being really generous with my age suggestion, but you know your child best. If you hike frequently & your kiddo is good with walking longer distances give it a shot} I will include how long each trail is ect.


Ohio State Parks are free! So there is no admission to the Hocking Hills State Park!

What to Bring:
{this will vary the time of year you go}

- Hiking Shoes {this doesn't have to be a specific hiking shoe. But you want something comfortable & waterproof} We always use Keens to hike.
- Light-weight Raincoats {just in case}
- Water
- Backpack 
- First Aid
- Phone with downloaded trail maps {make sure you download them as there is little to no service in the parks & trails are poorly marked}
- Or Paper Map {stop by the welcome center to grab one}
- Hats {if going during spring or summer to help with ticks}

Apps to download Before you come:

- Hocking Hills App 
- All Trains App

Where We Stayed:

Because our dates were sort of last-minute we had slim pickings for reservations. Things book up like crazy in advance so make sure you plan with that in mind. We were able to find a place called Hocking Hills Adventures. They are primarily a canoe rental place but they also have camping & cabins. The cabins are "primitive". The grounds leave a lot to be desired but we didn't care. Our cabin was nestled back into the woods off a huge cliff & it was perfect. Primitive means no bedding or bathrooms. Though there is a bathhouse close by. There was, however, a small fridge & microwave. Our site had a campfire ring & front porch. 

First Stop

Make sure you stop by the welcome center! They are extremely kind here & have so so much information. They clearly love their job & want you to have the best trip possible. They scavenger hunts for kids. Rainy day activities. Lists of local restaurants. Just so so much info. AND you have to stop at Pencil Sharpener Museum right next door. This was such a fun stop!

Conkles Hollow - Super Easy - 0.5 mile

Conkles Hollow is a State Nature Preserve. Here we took the gorge trail. It is a one way in & out trail. The trail is mostly paved up until the actual hollow. It's very easy & kid friendly. Ends in a beautiful hollow with small waterfall. Lots of neat stops to check things out. 

Ash Cave - Super Easy - 0.3 mile

This was for sure the easiest hike we had at Hocking Hills. Again we took the gorge trail here, which s also paved. It is in & out for wheelchair accessible but you can continue past the gorge up onto the rim to come back down for a bit more of a challenge. This trail really gives a huge wow factor when you come upon the gorge. Truly breathtaking. It full of sand & a small waterfall that lands in toward the end of the cave. We found a tiny baby mouse drinking from the water landing while there. The girls spent forever exploring in this gorge. 

 Pro Tip: If you have kiddos that love sandbox. Pack from some trucks or shovels for some extra fun.

Cedar Falls - Lightly Moderate - 0.9 mile

Cedar Falls is one of the bigger waterfalls that we saw at Hocking Hills. It was the most busy as well {althought that is rare, generally Ash Cave is the most popular} This trail has quite a bit of stairs which is why I put lightly moderate. Depending on which parking lot you parked it, it can be a harder trail to get back. With little ones this could be labeled as easy by turning around and going back the way you came instead. 

Old Man's Cave - Lightly Moderate - 5.3 miles

Old Man's Cave packs in all the punches on this trail. The first stop at the waterfall, I found myself feeling like I was in a screensaver. It is so picturesque. This trail is one-way traffic, it can be tricky to figure out where to start, but look for the big "bigfoot" prints on the pavement & they lead you to the start! On this trail, you get to see the famous attraction "The Devils Bathtub" & the Upper falls.

The Devils Bathtub

How long should my trip be?

This is going to vary for every person. We were there for 3 days. The first being arrival day, we did no hiking. The second, it was dreadfully storming & we did the Hocking Hills Sauna Pods {you can see that all about that HERE}, welcome center & Conkles Hollow then following by the third day getting up early to do the rest.
I think 3 days at Hocking Hills is perfect that you won't feel rushed. There is so much more we didn't do because of the rain than we would have liked to.