Old Man's Cave is what started our whole Hocking Hills adventure. My husband read the book Grandma Gatewood's Walk An Inspiring Story of the woman who saved the Appalachian Trail by Ben Montgomery. In the book, she talks about how the Old Man's Cave area of Hocking Hills was her favorite part of the whole Appalachian Trail! My husband and I love to hike so he researched the area and planned this trip as a Christmas Gift for me. We had a blast together!
Tip: Visit this park early in the morning to avoid the crowds!
Old Man's Cave is the most popular area in the Hocking Hills area which also makes it the most crowded. It's absolutely beautiful and definitely worth visiting!
As you enter the park you will come to Upper Falls first. This is a 20 foot waterfall is framed by a stone foot bridge that adds to it's beauty.
As you continue down the path, you will see the Devils Bathtub. Overtime the swirling action of the water has carved out a "bathtub" like shape in the rocks. It looks like a natural whirlpool! There is no swimming in it but it's a beautiful sight to see.
Legend says that the swirling drain goes all the way down to Hades but in reality it's only a couple feet deep.
Old Man's Cave
Old Man's Cave is a large recess cave of the gorge that you will come upon after the Devil's bathtub. The cave is named after the hermit Richard Rowe who used to live there. Legend says that he is buried somewhere beneath the cave!
Continuing through the park you will come to the Lower Falls. This is a beautiful area to get some great photos. Just before you get to the falls you pass over a beautiful stone bridge that would be a great spot for family photos!
Just past the Lower Falls you can take another trail to the Broken Falls. It's not well publicized and it is easy to miss. We actually missed it on our first trip through. It's a narrow path with lots of steps but well worth the climb. It's not very crowded with breathtaking views.
Another trail in the park to take is the Buckeye Trail to Cedar Falls. This is a longer trail that leads to Cedar Falls. This is a great option if you are looking for a longer walk. We enjoyed this part because it wasn't very crowded, so you could enjoy listening to the birds, as you walked along the wooded trail. if you are more interested in just seeing the falls you can drive to Cedar Falls and have a much shorter walk. Either way don't miss these falls!
Off the path to Cedar Falls you can reach anther path that takes you to the Whispering Cave Trail and the Hemlock Bridge Trail. These trails were some of our favorites! Again less crowded but very impressive. The Honeycomb Weathering rock formation is absolutely breathtaking while the Whispering Cave is fun to climb into and has amazing views.
Old Man's Cave Map
Whispering Cave Map