Family Guide to Hocking Hills


What are the best places to visit when planning a day trip or getaway to Hocking Hills?

Four years ago my family started visiting Hocking Hills when our three boys were still in diapers. We fell in love with Hocking Hills and were amazed at how many activities our family can participate in, regardless of age. Even though we visit Hocking Hills frequently we continue to discover new places!

It can be overwhelming trying to plan your day trip or getaway so here are some suggestions based on ages to help get you started!

Recommended Places to Visit at Hocking Hills

Toddlers and Up

1. Ash Cave: We LOVE Ash Cave! And by love, we mean we visit there almost every time we come to Hocking Hills. The scenery is breathtaking. Not only can you explore caves but there is a waterfall at the end of the trail. This trail is extremely easy for kids, pets and parents to walk. The kids love sliding down a natural slide and walking by the waterfall.

Advice: pack an extra pair of clothes for your explorer.

2. Muddy Boots: An interactive farm experience where the kids pet and feed animals. This outdoor activity features feeding rabbits all the way to camels. We found a neat pond on the farm as well and the kids loved pointing out the fish.

Advice: They are open April to October so make sure to check times before going and bring extra money if you want to feed the animals. Ages 4 and under – Free. Ages 5 to 12 – $7. Ages 13 and up – $10. I have a son with a peanut allergy so I made sure to get the non-peanut animal treats.

Trick or treat with the animals this year! Click here for more information!

3. AHA Museum: Raining? No problem! Children can use their imagination and creativity while exploring this children’s museum. This museum is located in Lancaster (about 30 minutes from Hocking Hills).  The price of admission is $8 a person.  12 months and under are free!

What I love about it: My kids really do use their imagination to build, explore and create when visiting AHA Museum. Reservations required for the Nature Playscape.

Advice: recommended for children 6 months to 8 years.

4. Lake Logan Marina: We rented a pontoon and the kids fished and swam in the lake. There are many options of what to rent including: pontoons, stand up paddleboats, kayaks, and duck, swan or dragon paddleboats. They close October 19th until Spring 2021.

Advice: Reservations required. Bring fishing poles and food. They sell bait.

5. Hocking Hills Adventures: Choose a trip down the river in a canoe or kayak from two to five hours. Take a trip in a raft or tube. There are more attractions to try although I have not personally done these. There is a splash pad as well!

Advice: Make reservations ahead of time. My kids loved going canoeing.

6. Hocking Valley Scenic Railway: Take a historic and memorable train ride starting in Nelsonville. They run weekends from May through October. Also, look for the Easter Bunny Train, Robbery Train, All-Caboose Train, October Fall Foliage, Santa Trains, and New Year’s Eve Train. Check for reservations and book your adventure today!

7. Hocking Hills Market: My kids insist on stopping for ice cream here at least once during our stay. We love browsing the shops, playing mini golf, and trying out the rocking chairs. It’s a fun place to explore!

Older Kids and Adults:

1. R Adventure Park: There are so many activities at this recreational wonderland!  Choose from paintball, ropes course, Moonshiner’s Mystery Shack, and a vertigo tunnel. If that’s not enough you can even go on a motorized experience in a two or four seat Polaris 1000’s and the Hocking Hills Slingshot experience. Just writing about this makes me want to go right now!

2. Explore Old Mans Cave and surrounding areas: Hocking Hills has it all: waterfalls, rock houses, caves, and so much natural beauty all around. Check out these trails and decide which ones you want to explore! Experience natural beauty at its best by hiking through Rock House, Cantwell Cliffs, Cedar Falls, Conkle’s Hollow and much more!

3. Ziplining at Hocking Hills Canopy Tours: This summer my kids were finally the right age and weight for ziplining. Participants must weigh between 35 and 140 pounds and be 5 to 12 years old. I wasn’t sure how they would like it but we signed them up for the Dragonfly tour. This zipline includes eight kid-friendly zip lines, three bridges and a sky tunnel. This tour was super safe due to the fact that the zipline boasts a continuous belay safety system so they stay connected from start to finish. Make sure to wear closed toed shoes. This experience was my kid’s favorite activity we did all summer!

Check restrictions before booking!

4. John Glenn Astronomy Park: During the day visitors can get a view of the closest star to the Earth! In the evening, guests will get a chance to view the moon, planets and star through a telescope. View their website for additional information on hours and days.

Other Places We Enjoy:

1. Hocking Hills Winery: This family owned winery is the perfect setting for an evening to relax and unwind! My husband and I celebrated our tenth anniversary here and still talk about it! We had an appetizer plate (very accommodating to my food allergy and brought gluten free pretzels.) We listened to music while sampling wine.

2. Millstone BBQ: One of our family favorites! I love the menu (plenty of Gluten free options.) The kids and husband love the corn muffins that come out before the meal. The food is delicious. My non-loving turkey husband swears by their smoked turkey. The atmosphere is fun and we cannot wait to go back!

3. Pizza Crossing: We always order this yummy pizza and everyone devours it! We usually order it and pick up. I enjoy the Gluten Free pizza and the kids love the pizza and bread!

4. Rockmill Brewery:  This is a family operated brewery and we must say the grounds are beautiful. Located on a former horse farm and just ten minutes from Lancaster both kids and adults will love the property. My kids enjoyed walking in the creek, discovering a chapel and even seeing chickens.

5. Brewery 33: Choose from 14 handcrafted beers and growlers. They offer snacks and offer the option of ordering in from delicious nearby restaurants.

Looking for a place to stay?

There are SO many great options when it comes to lodging. After my family fell in love with Hocking Hills, my husband and I started a cabin business called Nature’s Harmony Cabins.  Our main goal when opening up our cabins is to offer guests a place to relax and unwind while providing travelers amenities to make it really feel like home! We provide a treehouse play area for kids, fire pit areas perfect for s’mores and storytelling, and plenty of land to explore.

We have two cabins to offer guests. They are called “The Nook” and “The View”  Please click below to see additional information!

“The Nook”

“The View”

Below you will find Fall and Winter Events around Hocking Hills: Click the links below to learn more about these fun events. Please make sure you check in with the event prior to attending. Many require reservations! 

Muddy Boots: Trick or Treat with the animals

Pumpkins at Walker Farm

Live Music at Hocking Hills Winery

Hocking Valley Train Rides: ride the train with the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway!

Fairfield County Infirmary Ghost Hunt

Jack Pine Presents: Glass Pumpkin Fest

Annual Hocking Hills Holiday Treasure Hunt

Downtown Logan Christmas Parade

Christmas in Ash Cave

We hope you found places in Hocking Hills that will make your visit even more memorable.  What are your favorite spots in Hocking Hills?

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Melissa Burnett
Melissa Burnett was born in New Jersey but moved to Ohio at the beginning of a school year where she thought her parents forgot her at Kindergarten and spent most of her first day in tears. Since then, she learned to transfer her imagination onto paper and write stories. She taught Title 1 Reading and wrote children’s books before embarking on her journey into parenthood. Melissa is a mother to twin boys and a younger boy who keeps her on her toes. She enjoys Friday stay home movie night with her boys and dreaming up business ideas with her extremely patient and loving husband. When she is not breaking up wrestling matches, Melissa and her husband spend their time working on rental cabins in Hocking Hills. They also enjoy popcorn and coming up with new popcorn flavors. Melissa promises she does not have motherhood figured out, but she does have many funny stories to share and a word of advice “when you go through the car wash with kids…make sure your window lock is on.” Follow her blog: