My sister and I went on some of my favorite day hikes in Ohio.  All of these hikes are less than an hour and a half from Columbus, and they offer some incredible views.  Like most good Ohioans, I’ve been to Hocking Hills a number of times.  I’m always amazed at how pretty it is.  I travel far and wide for a good view, so being able to drive to a great viewpoint and get back home in one day is incredible.

I’ve written about many of these hikes before on here.  Check out some of these posts for some of my recommendations on great Ohio views (which include some hikes):

If you’re an Ohioan and you haven’t had a chance to explore Hocking Hills, are you really an Ohioan?  Just kidding, but in all seriousness, you should see what you’ve been missing.

I planned to go in April because the flowers would be blooming and the birds would be chirping.  But since this is Ohio, it was actually snowing!  It ended up being a very beautiful day with snow flurries in the morning that warmed up to a nice cool day in the afternoon.  It was great hiking weather, and we saw some of my favorite views in Ohio.

Rising Park, Lancaster

This was on the way to Hocking Hills, and it’s one of my favorite viewpoints.  It’s a short, intense walk to the top where you can get an aerial view of the city of Lancaster.  It doesn’t take long to get here, which is why this is one of my favorite hikes.

Conkles Hollow

This is a less-crowded, lesser-known place in the Hocking Hills area.  It’s becoming more well-known, but most people I talk to have never heard of it.  The rim trail offers views on all sides, which makes this the perfect place for people who love viewpoints and also aren’t afraid of heights!

I’ve been here in the Spring and it was beautiful.  Because of the viewpoints on all sides, you get to see the trees vividly.   In the Spring, you can see all the trees in bloom when everything is bright green.  I haven’t been here in the winter, so it was fun to see the different foliage.  Now, I just need to see it in the fall and summer to make my viewing pleasure complete!

Ash Cave

Ash Cave is part of the Hocking Hills State Park.  I came here for the first time in November; on Black Friday when we “opted out.” I’ve been wanting to go back.  This time, the waterfall was stronger.  It was more beautiful than I could remember.  This little gem is making it’s way to the top of my “favorites” list.  Pictures don’t really do it justice.  It’s a very short walk from the parking lot, but as you’re walking up, it doesn’t seem like it’s going to be much.  Then, BAM!  You immediately feel smaller and the cave envelopes you.  As you get closer, the sound of the waterfall mutes all other noises and it becomes the soundtrack for relaxation.

Whispering Cave

This cave was a lot longer walk, with many ups and downs.  Not recommended for people with knee problems, but a great hike to a very cool cave.  Cool in two senses: it looks cool and it feels cool.  The signage says it drops 20 degrees once you enter the cave.  That being said, I can see this being a great summer hike.

What’s one of your favorite Ohio hikes?

Nina Thomas

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