Hocking Hills is a fantastic vacation destination for those travelers that can’t wait to get out and make the most of time in nature. From inspiring caves and cascades to impressive cliffsides and rock formations, Hocking Hills is an area where some of nature’s finest work is hidden within a forested canopy. Whether you’re one for exploring unknown paths or are excited to hit the well-known trails, Hocking Hills is designed to be trekked and enjoyed. When you find yourself in town with your canine companion in tow, be sure to add these Hocking Hills dog-friendly trails to your must-try list!
Ash Cave Trail
Hiking enthusiasts to Hocking Hills that travel with their pets in two are often thrilled to find out that dogs are nearly always allowed on trails in the area’s state parks. That means that a hike to the infamous Ash Cave using either the Gorge Trail or Rim Trail is always an option. Ash Cave is the largest of the recesses in this area and truly an impressive sight. For a more leisurely hike this direction, consider taking Gorge Trail, which is wheelchair accessible as well, and provides an easy quarter-mile hike to reach your final destination. To extend your journey, consider switching things up and choosing the Rim Trail instead which is a bit more challenging and offers up half a mile of trail to discover.
Cedar Falls Trail
Cascade chasers will be thrilled by the chance to hike their way to Cedar Falls using a trail system that runs along the lower gorge near Old Man’s Cave. Blackhand sandstone and towering trees define the trek and make for a picturesque view as you travel the 3 miles out to reach the falls from Old Man’s Cave. The trail can be a bit steep in some areas if you choose to take the Upper Gorge Rim Trail, but overall, it’s a relatively simple hike for experienced and non-experienced hikers alike. During the way to the falls, you’ll get wonderful views as you pass by Rose Lake and the gorge valley.
Whispering Cave Trail
Located within Hocking Hills State Park, Whispering Cave Trail is one of the newest routes that’s opened up in this area and a scenic trek for those excited to encounter a wonderful recess worthy of a photo or two. The trail is about a mile and a half and includes scenic overlooks and a few sets of steps along the way; it’s truly one of the most beautiful Hocking Hills dog-friendly trails. Wear good hiking boots for this one and bring your sense of adventure too!
You will notice that these dog friendly trails can all be found inside Hocking Hills State Park, where your friendly canines are more than welcome. Another picturesque trail that will make for the perfect hike with your pup is the one up to Cantwell Cliffs. Similar to other parts of the Hocking Hills State Park, the trail up to Cantwell Cliffs features plenty of shade as the huge trees have grown in size. The cliffs themselves are the end point of the trail where you will find gorgeous sandstone that has created narrow walkways through the rock and even natural shelters carved into the stone. This moderate hike should take you half an hour to complete and is .9 miles in length. You pups will be happy to join you for this exquisite hike.
Another Hocking Hills State Park trail that is sure to make your pup happy is the one leading up to Rock House. This moderate hike is fairly short at only .8 miles in length and takes most hikers around half an hour to complete. Similar to other parts of the park you will find plenty of shade making it more than enjoyable even during the warmer summer months. We recommend sticking to this trail from April through October before the snow and ice creep in during the winter. Once you get to the Rock House itself you will find a natural cavern to peek inside. Don’t forget your hiking boots as this trail is all dirt and may be muddy after it rains.
Not all dog friendly trails are found inside the Hocking Hills State Park. There are a few you can access throughout the rest of the area. This includes the Hocking Hills State Forest where additional trails are found including the one leading to Chapel Cave. This fun hike is located in the Rock Climbing and Rappelling Area just east of the Conkle’s Hollow State Nature Preserve. While the trail is technically a bridle trail it does allow hiking and leashed dogs too. The trail is not as easily marked as those found inside the Hocking Hills State Park, but the end result is just as incredible. The trail is approximately a mile in length and is rated as moderate difficulty. Chapel Cave will be noticeable on a rock outcropping up along the trail to the right so make sure to bring your camera phone. Keep in mind the trail may be muddy after it has rained.