Outdoor-lovers explore Hocking Hills' caves and wooded trails 60 miles southeast of Columbus.
The bluff in Hocking Hills' Conkle's Hollow Ohio
Conkle's Hollow

Day 1

Fern-filled valleys, forests and overlooks cradle Conkles Hollow State Nature Preserve and, just 3 miles away, the 2,356-acre Hocking Hills State Park.

Credit: Randall L. Schieber

In Conkles Hollow, dramatic sandstone cliffs rise nearly 200 feet above the valley floor. Two trails total 3.5 miles; part of the Gorge Trail is wheelchair-accessible.

At Hocking Hills State Park, trails range from the quarter-mile-long, wheelchair-accessible Ash Cave Gorge to the 4.5-mile Whispering Cave Trail, where you might glimpse a 105-foot seasonal waterfall. The state park also offers mountain bike trails, an archery range, paddling on 17-acre Rose Lake and a variety of naturalist programs.

Retreat at the end of the day to Glenlaurel Scottish Inn and Cottages, where Scottish bagpipes announce candlelight meals in the manor set on the estate's 140 acres.

If you're traveling with the family, check out well-appointed vacation homes (most sleep 12 or more) at Buffalo Cabins & Lodges; some include heated pools, hot tubs and grills on the patio.

Day 2

Hocking Hills Canopy Tours
Hocking Hills Canopy Tours
| Credit: Courtesy of Ohio Tourism

Travelers strap on zipline harnesses then zoom over a cave and rock cliffs; sky bridges provide treetop views at Hocking Hills Canopy Tours.

Starters of a basket of mini corn bread muffins and whipped honey butter transition to lunches of tasty smoked meats at roadhouse-style Millstone BBQ.

Spend the afternoon with naturalist who leads hikes through Hocking Hills Adventure Trek.

Live music accompanies beautifully plated, seasonal dinners created by culinary students at Rhapsody in Nelsonville, 26 miles east of Hocking Hills.

More information: hockinghills.com

Ash Cave Hocking Hills Ohio
Ash Cave

Wow moment

Among the fascinating sandstone formations at Hocking Hills State Park, Ash Cave draws the most attention with its 100-foot-high natural awning that shelters a sandy trail. Towering hemlocks and a seasonal waterfall add to the splendor.

Stay to remember

Escape to one of 12 modern cottages, each situated on 2 secluded acres, at Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls. Indulge in massages and mud wraps in a cabin housing a spa. The Kindred Spirits Restaurant pairs dishes like mussels steamed in white wine with refreshing cocktails.