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Old Man's Cave

The most popular of all the Hocking areas is Old Man's Cave, located on State Route 664. Here at the Upper Falls, the Grandma Gatewood Trail begins its six-mile course connecting three of the park's areas: Old Man's Cave to Cedar Falls to Ash Cave. This same trail has been designated as part of Ohio's Buckeye Trail as well as part of two national systems - the North Country Scenic Trail and America's Discovery Trail.

© Bud Schrader Photography
Below The Bridge, Old Mans Cave - My first shot from here, standing in the creek.

Old Man's Cave derives its name from the hermit Richard Rowe who lived in the large recess cave of the gorge. His family moved to the Ohio River Valley around 1796 from the Cumberland Mountains of Tennessee to establish a trading post. He and his two dogs traveled through Ohio along the Scioto River in search of game. On one side trip up Salt Creek, he found the Hocking Region. Rowe lived out his life in the area and is buried beneath the ledge of the main recess cave. Earlier residents of the cave were two brothers, Nathaniel and Pat Rayon, who came to the area in 1795. They built a permanent cabin 30 feet north of the cave entrance. Both brothers are buried in or near the cave. Their cabin was later dismantled and relocated on the nearby Iles farm to be used as a tobacco drying house.

© hockinghills.com
Lower Falls -

The Old Man's Cave area can be divided into five principal sections found along the valley of Old Man's Creek. In order, they are: Upper Falls, Upper Gorge, Middle Falls, Lower Falls and Lower Gorge. Along the length of the trail the magnificent gorge cuts through the entire 150-foot thickness of the Blackhand sandstone. Carved by the creek, the gorge serves as an avenue for visitors to peer into the earth's subsurface. The full distance of the gorge is approximately one half mile.

© Bud Schrader Photography
Above The Upper Falls - Old Mans Cave - Oft photographed falls leading into OMC gorge.

Old Man's Cave Hiking Trail Map
Location Map
Old Mans Cave Campground Map
Old Mans Cave Cottage Map
Calendar of Events
52nd Annual Winter Hike at Hocking Hills
Sat Jan 21

9-11 am continuous starts from the Old Man's Cave Visitor's Center. More than 5,000 outdoor enthusiasts will participate in the Annual Hocking Hills Winter Hike. Hikers should assemble at Hocking Hills State Park Campground at any time from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The Winter Hike and all pre-hike and post-hike activities are free. Donations are encouraged for the refreshments, and for the return ride to Old Man's Cave. Commemorative patches and hiking stick medallions are available for purchase. Hikers should come dressed in layered clothing and sturdy shoes. Hocking Hills State Park is located about 55 miles southeast of downtown Columbus on State Route 664 in Hocking County.

Cost: Free

Contact: Hocking Hills State Park, Phone: 740-685-6841

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Family Oriented, Special Interest, Wildlife,
Maple Sugaring in the Hills
Sat Mar 11

12-4 pm.

Meet at the naturalist cabin behind the Old Mans Cave visitor center.

Discover how syrup is made, and savor the taste of the season as we boil down our local maple sap. Discover the many methods used throughout history to make this tasty treat.

Cost: Free

Contact: Hocking Hills State Park, Phone: 740-385-6841

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Family Oriented, Special Interest,
Grandma Gatewood's Fall Colors Hike
Sat Oct 14

1-5pm

Bring along a cool drink and celebrate the season's colors.

Meet with the naturalist at the Old Man's Cave Visitor Center for a strenuous hike that spans roughly 6 miles of the Grandma Gatewood trail.

We will be traversing the section that runs from Old Man's Cave to Cedar Falls and back while enjoying the scenic beauty and cultural personality.

This hike does include several hills and steps and is not recommended for the easily winded individual. Approximately 3-4 hours.

Cost: Free

Contact: Hocking Hills State Park, Phone: 740-385-6841

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Family Oriented, Wildlife,
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