Explore the most popular cave trails in Ohio with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

backpacking
2 days ago

This trail was quite the challenge! Started at X, the Iron Furnace, we did the full trail less the extended north loop in 3 days. 28.34 miles in full. Camped at sites 2 and 3. Drinking water is piped in at each camp site and was delicious! Privies were well maintained. Trail was well marked.

hiking
4 days ago

Great views, very child friendly. The only con was that people were smoking cigarettes throughout the trail. I thought Ohio was a “smoke-free” state, judging by the visitors here it’s not. Plus they should set up more recycling bins; the trash was overloaded with plastic.

I found this trail to be challenging. We hiked from Lake Hope and spent the night at campsite 1, then completed the loop the next day. Great hike and beautiful forest. Some fallen trees, steep inclines and declines to create a challenge and get the heart rate up. We also encountered a large copperhead about a mile out from campsite 1, watching us closely only about 3 feet from the trail. Be careful and very snake aware in this forest.

backpacking
7 days ago

Has been a few years since I did this hike, but connected it with the south loop and managed to extend my stay for five days. The north trail was definitely less populated, but also the trails were less well maintained. Still an excellent hike, but I remember the south loop being more scenic.

backpacking
7 days ago

The best backpacking trail in Ohio! You really feel secluded when you get to the campsites, night time can be fantastic with the sounds of the coyotes. There is a water well and outhouse at the campsites as well, making it easy to settle in for the night.

Great trail. We did this as a day trip and went counter clockwise. Lots of spiders on the first half. I found it to be a little bit better marked than other reviews have suggested. We only noticed Natural Gas smell at a couple of spots next to a pretty obvious natural gas processing area. The second half featured some pretty awesome weathered sandstone. I would make sure to map your route to the trailhead prior to getting close as there isn't any reception.

The gorge trail was amazing. It was like walking through the movie set for Lord of the Rings!

8 days ago

I'm guessing from the reviews that this used to be rated Moderate, but it is now rated Easy. I believe the original rating of Moderate is accurate. No, it's definitely not an intense hike, but there are multiple sections with an incline. My Fitbit counted it as the equivalent of 8 flights of stairs. Plus, the majority of the trail has tree roots or rocks to step over. For the experienced hiker, this is easy. If you have physical limitations, though, just be aware that this is not at all a flat, simple trail. Call it Moderately Easy! :)

Go after it rains. The waterfalls are way cooler.

So incredibly beautiful there! The two ledges are amazing, smaller than whipps but still nice to go and see!

12 days ago

Great trail; gives you a good workout.

backpacking
12 days ago

The trail could use better trail markers. The cave nothing big, it’s more of an over hang. It does make a good rain shelter

Absolutely loved the trails, the scenery was out standing and you can hike from one trail to the other or drive to a different start point to have shorter hikes to the attractions. will definitely be back.

9.9 miles, not true. I did it today and stayed on the trails, and it came to 12 miles on this app, 12.43 miles on my Samsung Health app which is much more true as I have accurately measured the apps. Love the beauty of this park as any other in Ohio is unmatched. It hasn't rained consistently in a week, thus the waterfalls were dripping and the river was dry in many spots.

Very pretty trail! After the pavement stops there is a waterfall worth going forward for.

Worth the trip! The trails could be marked better, but it was so beautiful we didn't mind.

hiking
20 days ago

Nice enough hike through deciduous and some pine forest on the way to the ‘cave’ area. Slump rock cave was nice to look at. But, there are more impressive options in the area.
Would be a nice trail for a run.

Great place. Little packed but what do you expect for Labor Day weekend and how beautiful this place is. Did a little over 7 miles. Old man cave and then cedar falls. Great time and a awesome hike.

I was the 3rd car in the lot this morning. By the time I finished, the police were ticketing all the people who parked off the road. The hike was phenomenal!

Old Man's Cave to Cedar Falls through the long tunnel, then out to Ash Cave and return on the Gorge Overlook. Well worth the drive!

We tried this trial for the first time thinking as much as it was advertised being a new major attraction to the area it would be great. I was not impressed, some areas are easy going wooded, there is a very long annoying wooded stair step half way to the cliffs, then rooted rocky uneven up and down trails to get to the cliffs. Many told us it was not worth going to the end of the trail which is not really a loop.

The cliffs are cool but if you were looking for a moderate/easy trail to get there, not worth it.

Great trail with beautiful scenery. Make sure to do the east gorge and west gorge trails.

great trail for an afterwork hike. I wish it was longer than a mile

Great trail. We followed Kelly’s advice. Spent a prolonged period of time by the water fall contemplating life. The trail was much more populated near the rock bridge. A great way to spend the morning. Side note, we are staying at Boulder’s edge cabins directly across from this trail and LOVE them.

Good hike, lots of people near old man’s cave

backpacking
28 days ago

Link below is the map provided at the trailhead with more descriptions.

forestry.ohiodnr.gov/Portals/forestry/PDFs/SF/Zaleski_backpack.pdf

According to this link the trail (which starts at at the Hope Schoolhouse) is 28.8 miles NOT 20.1. Definitely have this handy or pick up a physical map at the trailhead. AllTrail has you start at "X" or the Iron Furnace which still has a stand for maps and registration.

Other than that, this really was a nice trail for getting my wife over fearing backpacking. Sections W through X have a lot of Creek crossings that get a bit confusing. This is where most of the overgrown parts and downed trees are concentrated. Nothing impassable of course. Campsites we're great as was the water availability.

My only reason for a four star rating was the lack of solitude and the lack of scenic overlooks. If you like fairly brief climbs and descents in to forest creeks and lush hillsides this is a great hike.

My favorite trail in Southern Ohio! The initial incline is a rather difficult but totally worth it. Beautiful scenery and very tranquil, but also a great workout.

Nice trail with woods, a few small waterfalls, and the deer lick ‘cave’. The directions take you to a wide shoulder where you can park. We parked at the Meadows Picnic area which is a more natural spot to start and finish.
Trail is well marked. Follow the red trail signs.
We went on a Sunday morning after an overnight rainstorm. It was muddy in some places. You have to keep you eyes on the trail as there was horse poop everywhere. There are 2 shallow stream crossings that you can navigate on rocks if needed. We maybe saw 10-12 other people, mostly runners. Some areas with mosquitoes, but nothing bad and we did not use bug spray.
The map shown on All Trails follows the bridle trail on the east side of the loop, which confused me for a minute until I zoomed in more on the map. Taking the marked deer lick trail the whole way clocked in at ~4 miles.
Overall my family enjoyed it.

hiking
28 days ago

One of my favorites in the Hocking Hills area!! Beautiful scenery, slightly challenging and fun. The Rock House cave is really cool. Loved this trail!

29 days ago

Easy hike with beautiful scenery. On a hot day, wading in the water at Ash Cave is a beautiful thing.

Started at Ash Cave and hiked to Old Man Cave via the ridge line trails. Returned to Ash Cave via the Buckeye Trial (Blue). It is great to see the caves, but those sections are very crowded as others have noted. I would not rate this trial as moderate vs difficult. But for Ohio this is very scenic and diverse hike.

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