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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
Mid-falls, Old Mans Cave - This falls isn't real large but very photogenic. Just below the cave proper.

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.

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

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
Sphinx Head, Up Close and Personal - A famous landmark at Old Mans Cave.

Whispering Cave Trail Map (new)
Old Man's Cave Hiking Trail Map
Location Map
Old Mans Cave Campground Map
Old Mans Cave Cottage Map
Calendar of Events
Winter Hike at Hocking Hills
Sat Jan 19

9:00 am - 11:00 am Continuous starts.

Join the Annual Hocking Hills Winter Hike 6-mile trek to view the beauty of the hills and caves and waterfalls in winter. Start at Old Mans Cave on a hike to Ash Cave with a stop at Cedar Falls for refreshments (for a donation).

Transportation is provided back to parking area near Old Mans Cave.

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,
Fireside Chat
Sat Jan 26

2:00 pm

Bundle up and meet the naturalist at the Ash Cave Shelter house to talk about the topic of the day. Each visit will bring a different topic ranging from local folklore & history to plants and animals. We might even sneak in a special guest or two. Bring a mug along we will have the kettle on!

Cost: Free Event

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

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Family Oriented, Special Interest, Arts/Music/Film, Wildlife, Historical,
Hocking Hills wildlife at the cabin
Sun Feb 10

1:00 pm

As you pass by on your hike today, stop by the

Naturalist Cabin to explore and take a closer look at some of our native residents. Naturalist will be available to explain and answer questions

Cost: free event

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

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Family Oriented, Wildlife,
Park Trivia
Sun Feb 17

1:00 pm

Meet the naturalist at the naturalist cabin located by the A Frame Bridge for a fun filled trivia game. Find out how much you know about Ohio’s wildlife, boating and state parks. Come on down for your chance to learn and have fun!

Cost: Free

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

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Family Oriented, Special Interest, Wildlife,
Hocking Hills Indian Run
Sat Sep 14

Beginning at the Hocking Hills State Park Naturalist Cabin, the Indian Run winds through vast wooded areas of the Hocking Hills State Park and Hocking State Forest, crossing streams, deep gorges, shimmering waterfalls and lush forests, leading uphill and down. The Indian Run is the ultimate challenge to the runner’s power of concentration.

Indian Run Race Times

The 60k run (37.28 miles) steps off at 7 a.m.

The 40k race (24.85 miles) will begin at 8 a.m.

The other races (5k, 10k and 20k) are individual starts between 9 and 11 a.m. Each runner in these races has an individual start and finish time recorded for them; therefore runners can choose to start their race any time within those two hours. 10k and 5k runners catch a bus at the located in the Naturalist Cabin area, to get to their start locations, and should plan to check in at registration 1/2 hour before beginning their races.

All runners must check in with a (human) timer before beginning their race. All runners will be equipped with chip timing devices. Start times for some races are recorded manually and not with the chip timing. Chip timing is used to record all runners' finish times. More information on chip timing below.

Same day registration and check-in for pre-registered runners for the Indian Run both begin at 6:30 a.m. All races meet and finish at the Hocking Hills State Park Naturalist Cabin, 19852 S.R. 664 S in Hocking County. Refreshments will be available for runners after their races.

Pets are welcome to run the course with you (on a leash of course!). Walkers are also welcome at the Indian Run.

Due to the loss of the Dining Lodge, Gear Check and Showers will not be available this year.

Cost: varies

Contact: Hocking Hills State Park, Phone: 740-385-2750

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Special Interest,
Grandma Gatewoods Fall Colors Hike
Sat Oct 12

9:00 am

Bring along a cool drink and celebrate the seasons colors.

Meet with the naturalist at the Old Mans 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,
Photo Gallery (click on an image to enlarge)
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