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Pretty easy trail. A lot of trash where it's a party spot for local kids but the area is still pretty neat. Can find old foundations if you know what to look for. Trail is actually 16 miles from Zaleski to mineral but still some bridges missing that are supposed to be put in place in the next few years.

16 days ago

The first thing I will say is that the Wayne National Forest’s website stating this trail is 9.5 mile, as well as AllTrail’s description stating it’s 13.7 miles are both wrong. We backpacked this trail in 2 days (camped 1 night on the trail). Our total distance on my recording shows 14.6 miles with 8 hours 37 minutes moving time. This distance and time was following the trail blazes exactly and only leaving trail enough to explore the Great Cave and Natural Bridge. We also went the wrong way (in and out) about 100 ft. Otherwise, It’s all the trail. I’d estimate it at about 14.3 miles following it to a T. So if you’re going to go here, just be sure you’re ready for that distance. I’ll also note that there are a few spots where the trail has been rerouted and they all add distance, which would explain the discrepancies. We didn’t think it was quite that long and definitely got more than we expected but it was also out first time back out in over a year. Other than that, the trail is beautiful. It’s a LOT of hills but great scenery.

The trail was blazed very well and mostly easy to follow with a few spots that got a little confusing with the leave on the ground.

There are only 4 campsites setup along the trail so be sure to familiarize yourself with their locations if you plan to overnight this for the first time. My recording is uploaded with all 4 campsites marked, along with creek crossings and other waypoints. We did this trail counter clockwise. Going that way. There are 2 campsites just a few miles into the trail I wouldn’t suggest stopping at these and leaving everything for the next day. The next campsite is right after a steep decline. I would say this is about halfway and by far the nicest campsite. It’s right by a creek and setup nicely. It’s also very very secluded in the middle of the trail. We chose to keep going to the 4th campsite to leave less hiking for the next day. We found it was quite a hike to the 4th one but we made it before dark. It’s located where the trail intersects with another trail and also a short walk to a road where that trail’s trailhead is located. If you plan to hike here it would be a great spot to stash water or other supplies you don’t want to carry. I think it was called Jackson Road Trail.

I also would highly suggest not filtering or treating any water here. Carry everything in or stash it near the road crossings. There are many old oil wells along the trail, one that is definitely leaking into the creek.

Overall it was a tough, but great trip. Doing the loop counterclockwise and staying at the 4th site, we did about 9.5 miles the first day and the other 5 the next. If you stay at the halfway campsite I’d estimate it about 7 miles the first day and 7.5 the next. Looking back that would have been the best choice, but I’m glad we didn’t stop there because there was one other group hiking it clockwise and we passed them between these two sites. If we had taken this site they would have had a very far hike to the next one and wouldn’t have made it there by dark, so take that into consideration when hiking when it’s busier.

NOTE IF YOU HIKE CLOCKWISE: Going counter-clockwise we came down a very steep downgrade right before the 3rd campsite. Looking back up the hill, it looked impossible to climb up it and hard to even see where you would go. Obviously it’s possible due to the loop going both ways but it looks nearly impossible, maybe because the leave covering.

Make sure you stop to check out the Great Cave and Natural Bridge! Both very cool and to the left of the trail going counterclockwise.

Gorgeous trail! I went this past Monday when the ice melted and there was a big rain so the waterfalls were full and awe inspiring. Not crowded yet but still muddy make sure you have hiking shoes while the weather is changing. One of the most beautiful hikes I’ve ever been on!

1 month ago

Winter sights are pretty cool. A lot of large icecicles. BEWARE*** I went today and all the trails are frozen with at least a inch of solid ice. I slid into the water 4 times and there is nothing to stop the slide once you start. Luckily there was not a large dropoff where I slid. The ice makes it very slow moving because you need to attack certain spots with strategy when it is cliff+ice+downhill. If you are brave you can do it in an hour and a half but you will be wet from the melting ice and the guarantee you will slide into the water. Good luck!

Beautiful scenery! I hiked this trail this summer and for the annual winter hike and it is amazing!

I have spent a lot of my time in this park. I had many classes on these trails as a student at Hocking College and just spent the weekend there for the winter hike.

2 months ago

we hiked this trail on new year's eve in low single digit temperatures. there were icy, difficult spots but no special equipment needed... and very few other hikers which made it a favorite! beautiful caves, cliffs, and waterfalls.

What can I say other then thank you for keeping this park open! My family loved it. We did every trail and then stayed in the cabins witch were above our Epxt and we will be back!

Very scenic. Rock formations, waterfalls. Various terrain. Very busy on weekends. Much quieter during the week.

While I really enjoyed this hike, Moderate in not how I would describe it. It is really hard, I thought, and with the leaves and tree nuts on the ground, it was like walking on ball bearings. I found myself on my behind more than once. But it really was beautiful for a late November day, we saw 5 deer, a couple of woodpeckers and piles of squirrels. And our dog had a blast.

3 months ago

Nice hike

Beautiful area and a fun place to hike and explore.

4 months ago

I did the full 11 miles. I don't know that I'd categorize it as "hard" except for length. This path takes you through a couple of gravel parking lots, and old gravel service roads. It's really good for a long day hike, because there are also several bathroom stops along the way, and you get to hit three sites. There are a couple of difficult spots near the water features where the sandstone gets wet and slippery, and there's not a great grip. Those are the most challenging parts.

Nice hike.... worth a stop!

It’s AMAZING and quit beautiful at the same time

I love this place! I want to go in the fall but never have a chance. A hidden gem in Ohio and lots of stuff to do in the area. Go after a rain because the water areas are beautiful. I wish I could post a picture it is that beautiful!

Great trail, took Grandma's Gateway trail to Ash Cave from the Old Man's Cave Visitor Center and the Buckeye Trail Back. Grandma's trail is wide and mostly flat, I would rate it easy. The Buckeye Trail has some tricky footing and there are areas that look like they are in the process of being re-routed due to trail erosion. So there are some places that have blazes showing to take two different ways. Which ever way you choose you'll end up in the same place. The BT is definitely more on the difficult side but still not horribly difficult so I would rate the trail moderate overall. Do not miss this trail if you are visiting Hocking Hills, Old Man's cave is probably my favorite area to hike in Ohio.

I have gone here a lot of my life, and I absolutely love it. The one problem is that you have a bunch of tourists that walk all over plants and throw rocks at wildlife. Also there’s sometimes traffic jams (of people and cars) because there’s so many people visiting this place. This is why it gets four stars. But you should check it out, it’s pretty spectacular.

A lot of fun, my gps would lose signal on the way there, so make sure you somewhat memorize the roads you need to take. I highly recommend trekking sticks if it has rained recently. I had mine and I still almost fell quit a few time.

4 months ago

I was doing Archers Fork Loop Trail as a over night backpacking trip to test out some new gear before me and my pops trip to do 98 miles on th AT. I started this trail counter clockwise started at 6 and got to to the natural bridge just in time to watch the sunrise. I passed up and down over and around breathtaking rock formations and small streams and rivers oil wells old and new throughout. I made it to Jackson run where there was a good little camp spot at about 1 set up camp ate some food and took a nap. when i woke up i decided to just finish it up so packed up in a bit of a haste at about 330. i don't know if it was because i was tired or what but that last section of the trail whooped my ass with the elevation ups and downs finished up about 630. It was a great trail but ran in to a little to many hikers more then my likening anyway but this little challenging trail has a ton of natural beauty and wildlife.

4 months ago

Nice and simple trail with cool scenery. If you are up from a rock scramble, there is a large hill with a moderate climb. Feeling adventurous? Park on the opposite side of the stream and figure out how to traverse the valleys and water to find your way to the tunnel.

4 months ago

Great add on to South Point trail. More cliff views, beautiful.

4 months ago

Step rocky descents but really pleasant hike. About an hour should cover everything

4 months ago

Halfway through the Caldwell/fire tower trail and the trail just stops, completely lost to logging in the area; other 2 trails were decent but not marked at all.

Lame sauce. Essentially a fire road

trail is super easy, large crowds... but the scenery is gorgeous, it's even better after a heavy rain

5 months ago

Please follow Park rules regarding restraining dogs. On the day we were there, as we began our hike, three people were carrying out a dog that had fallen to its death. Park rangers reported to us at least one dog a year dies from a fall in the Hocking Hills. In every instance the dog is not on a leash.
Difficult trail as old steps on steep trails were in bad shape. Missing waypoint signs at junctions. Dangerous cliff sides need to be navigated with care. Striking features in the park.

My friend and I came down here for a day and did this 12-mile hike and went to see the Rockhouse afterwards! Great to do for a one day trip because you get to see a lot. Would recommend. Ash cave was my favorite spot!

5 months ago

Not bad, mostly natural, a lot of stairs, still pretty easy, saw a lot of dogs, upper rim trail isn't marked very well but it is maintained and well traveled

The best section of this trail is on the Grandma Gatewood/buckeye trail to cedar falls. This section is very scenic with the most “rugged” terrain. The remaining 3/4 of the trail is fairly easy with several sections covered in small gravel. This trail should not be rated hard. I would rate it easy with the section above moderate. Make sure to get there early if you are looking to hike. The amount of people on this trail can be ridiculous!

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