Cantwell Cliffs Loop

MODERATE 129 reviews
#2 of 13 trails in

Cantwell Cliffs Loop is a 1.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Rockbridge, Ohio that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, trail running, and nature trips and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

1.8 miles
314 feet

dog friendly


nature trips

trail running



A trip around the rim of Cantwell Cliffs is one of the more difficult tours in the Hocking Hills parks. There are some sharp climbs and descents, washed out bridges, fallen trees blocking trails, and well worn steps. These restrictions make this hike one of the least visited areas. It turns out that if you take on the challenge, you'll get to experience a "No Waiting" tour of natural features in each of the other parks in the area.

5 days ago

Thought this was the least impressive of all the Hocking Hills area trails. Initial rock structures were beautiful but after that it's just woods; I can see that anywhere in Ohio. If you're in the area; Ash Cave, Old Man's Cave, Cedar Falls, Rock House, and Conkle's Hollow were much more beautiful hikes.

25 days ago

We hiked this trail on our first trip to the Hocking Hills area. The steps down into the gorge were pretty cool although a little slick in a few places. Once you get to the bottom, you have a choice of two different trails. The red trail is a little more challenging with bigger climbs. We did part of that one then jumped over to the yellow trail which was quite a bit easier. The whole thing is marked as being exactly two miles, but the sections we did, according to my Garmin ended up being 2.3 miles and we left off a good portion of the red loop. We have a 10 year old and a couple of the spots can be a little concerning. Great little hike and I can't wait to go back to explore the rest of the HH trails!

1 month ago

Beautiful scenery. A nice bit of elevation change here and there. I only wish it was a little longer. The trails were well blazed but clearly there’s been some tree damage in the area. A great little hike with plenty of eye candy.

3 months ago

We liked the narrow stairs through the rock down to the grotto. Up around the rim we found less people, which was nice. Very long drive for us to get there so not sure when we’ll go back.

4 months ago

Neat hike, pretty easy. Cool water falls (3) Trails not marked well and needs better ways to get over streams with out getting wet.

6 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.

9 months ago

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

10 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.

10 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

Saturday, July 29, 2017

It's a little off the beaten path (Old Mans Cave is actually very close) but definitely worth a visit. Parking isn't as robust but shouldn't be an issue. Went with my 6yr old and we had a great time.

Friday, July 28, 2017


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

This park is extremely beautiful. The cliff was much bigger than I was expecting. It's not too long and only took about 45 minutes

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Honestly, I don't think people talk about this enough in relation to the Hocking County. I simply decided to stop by after visiting the Rockbridge and was simply blown away at the size of this cliff. The trails were well maintained, and offered some more moderate parts compared to others, but all together this was a fantastic trip out here.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The scenery was absolutely gorgeous

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Amazing views challenging climbs

Sunday, March 19, 2017

This trail was awesome. We were in Hocking Hills 8 months ago and didn't have time to make it here. I'm so glad we got the opportunity this time!

This and the Rock House have moved into favorite spots! Although Grandma Gatewood is still amazing with the views and terrain and toughness, as well as a good test of endurance, I found these trails to be more awe-inspiring.

Careful this time of year. It is extremely muddy and can be slippery and dangerous. I was happy that I have good log walking skills as they helped me over some very murky areas and deeper streams and I didn't have to rely on trust that my boots would keep my feet dry when completely submerged in water.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Beautiful winter hike. We can't wait to go back this summer. Lots of stairs help to amp up the workout.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Favorite hike in the hocking hills area

Monday, August 22, 2016

Absolutely loved it!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Beautiful trails. Very high breathtaking cliffs.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Nice hike. Not to strenuous. Week days are best due to it being less crowded. Scenery is great.

Monday, July 04, 2016

Google map directions to site are accurate. Parking and restroom at trailhead. Take photo of trail map to use as you hike. Trails are obvious with various check points often with map stands. Loop and back is easy walk and pleasant. Then look for mid level trail to see cliff formations. If you take rim trail you will miss these worth seeing sites. Can be busy on weekends.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Gorgeous! This trail is amazing and has beautiful views that will take your breath away. Although the trails have some hazardous points, it is well worth it if you are up for the challenge.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Great trail, fun for the family. Very picturesque with the cliffs providing stunning scenery. Can be a little nervous at times with a curious 6 year old but most of the trail is very stable. Not too crowded.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

out of all the trails at hocking Hills this one was our favorite. you really feel like you're in nature since most of the trail is on uneven paths, climbing over tree roots and rocks, and surrounded by green everywhere. it felt the most naturey and most challenging (but would not rate it's moderatly hard) fantastic trail!!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Great way to spend an hour or two. Have done this trail several times and is one of our favorites in the area. Quite a few steps and some climbing, dog friendly and not too crowded usually. The last set of stairs going up to the parking area is a bugger!

Friday, July 24, 2015

My friend and I took my 4 year old boy and 9 year old girl on this hike. We loved it. It's beautiful and not to long. I didn't hear any complaining from the peanut gallery. My GPS clocked us at about a 1.22 miles and 41 minutes. It was a very easy/moderate hike. Lots of stairs and a few narrow places but I would absolutely drive the hour and 10 minutes again to do this. Hope you all enjoy!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Great trail. DON'T be intimidated by the first couple hundred yards of the trail. It's not as steep as it may seem! My advice would be to take the yellow loop. It makes you appreciate how the foliage and the plant life changes as you get further away from the sandstone. INSTEAD of taking the yellow trail back around, head up on the red marked trail to see another old-style log building and a few more sheer-drop rock faces that the exit of the yellow trial doesn't offer.

Monday, November 11, 2013

great hike. always beautiful. there are two paths. upper rim is 2.5 miles. the path down the middle is a half mile.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


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