Don’t let the cold keep you away from Hocking Hills this winter. The next few months will be gorgeous – from the snow-swept hills to the caves dripping in icicles, the winter scenery is not to miss. Whether you prefer to experience the winter wonderland first hand, or enjoy the scenery from inside, here are a few ways to enjoy winter in Hocking Hills:
Winter in Ash Cave
Book your stay:
No need to fret over a place to stay when you visit – there are so many beautiful rentals in Hocking Hills – and a large variety, too! If you’re hoping to stay in a cabin, cottage, bed and breakfast, hotel or campground, you can find it all here. Bundle up by the fireplace, or relax in the hot tub outside. Keep an eye out for winter discounts!
Enjoying the Outdoors
- With so many trails and places to explore at Hocking Hills, why not take a hike to view the magic of winter? Explore on your own, or take a guided route. Check the event list for more information on guided hikes.
- Geocaching trails are becoming more popular each year. Never tried it? Grab a GPS and start your treasure-hunting adventure at a Hocking Hills trail today!
- It wouldn’t be Hocking Hills without sledding hill, would it? Lake Logan State Park Dam and Lake Hope State Park Dam are two great spots to fly and glide down the hills!
Warm Up Inside
- Create your own relaxation vacation. Check out the list of wineries and spas in the area and make plans for rejuvenation.
- Learn something new! Take a look at the list of museums and art shops and see the wide selection Hocking Hills has to offer!Shopping sprees never get old. Find a list of all of the top spots to look for unique items here.
- Try a few of the local restaurants. If it’s cozy home-cooking or burgers and beer you’re looking for, you’ll find it here.
What’s your favorite winter activity in Hocking Hills? We’d love to know – share your ideas in the comments below!
PS – Looking for some gorgeous photos? You may enjoy our Winter Wonderland Pinterest Board!
Are you one of the many travelers that will be enjoying this Thanksgiving holiday in Hocking Hills? Whether you’re joining us for Thanksgiving dinner, burning off off some of those extra calories on a hike, staging some beautiful family photos, renting one of our cabins for the weekend, or just in town for the day, there’s something in Hocking Hills for everyone in your family this time of year. Here are a few of the great events going on during Thanksgiving week:
What To Do The Week Leading Up To Thanksgiving
Guided Treks: Join us every Monday for the Airplane Rock Trek. This two-mile guided hike on Monday, November 25, will explore the trail to Airplane Rock and then descend into Long Hollow and search out Chapel Cave. Along the hike, you’ll learn about the diverse geology, biology and wildlife in the region. Advance reservations are required. Not in town on Monday? Join us for similar hikes on Tuesday (Big Spring & Table Rock Trek) and Wednesday (Chapel Cave Trek).
Farmers’ Market: Stop by the Logan Farmers’ Market, every Wednesday and Saturday. On Wednesday, November 27, find fresh produce, food and more – just in time for your Thanksgiving dinner!
Yoga in the Hills: Does the holiday season stress you out? Stop by Yoga in the Hills, Wednesday evening, to enjoy a yoga class surrounded by outdoor beauty of the Hocking Hills (weather permitting). Call ahead before making your plans.
Dining Out: Hocking Hills-area restaurants offer a variety of Thanksgiving day cuisine – from buffets to traditional four-course meals. Check out our post, Celebrating Thanksgiving Dinner in Hocking Hills for more info.
Enjoying the Weekend After Thanksgiving
Starbrick Gallery Holiday Open House: Visit the Starbrick Gallery from November 29 through December 24 for the gallery’s annual sale. On November 29, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. stop by for music, libations, raffle prizes and more, for the Holiday Open House to kick off the annual event.
Final Fridays – Nelsonville as the North Pole: Start your holiday shopping in the Historic Square Arts District in Nelsonville. Children will love visiting Santa’s Village on the Square to get a peek at a behind-the-scenes toy making wonderland.
Santa Train: Enjoy a family-friendly train ride with Santa! Santa and his elf helper will board the train, leaving every weekend through December 22, on the Hocking Valley Scenic Railroad. Purchase tickets in advance at http://www.hvsry.org.
Do you spend time in Hocking Hills during Thanksgiving? Let us know! Share a favorite memory in the comments, and tag our photos with #HockingHills on Facebook and Twitter.
For a full listing of local events, by date, visit http://www.explorehockinghills.com/events.
Fall is in full swing in the Hocking Hills, and we’re getting ready and excited for the upcoming holiday season. Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays – and celebrating Thanksgiving in Hocking Hills can be fun and of course, delicious. Looking for a Thanksgiving dinner to remember during your upcoming visit? Avoid the mess and stress by eating at one of the local restaurants, or do some cooking of your own in a cozy cabin with your family and friends. Not sure where to get started? Here are some of our favorite ways to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner in Hocking Hills. Remember, reservations book very quickly, so make your plans today!
Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving Buffet at the Olde Dutch Restaurant
Where: Olde Dutch Restaurant
When: 10:30 am to 5 pm
Prices: Adults: $14.99; Kids 7-10: $4.99; Kids 3-6: $3.99; Kids under 3 eat free
What you’ll get: At the Olde Dutch Restaurant you’ll enjoy mouthwatering turkey at the carving station, a salad bar with a wide variety of toppings, a soup station, delicious dessert bar and drinks.
Thanksgiving Feast at Glenlaurel
Where: Glenlaurel Inn
When: 6 pm
Price: $49 per person
What you’ll get: If you are hoping for an elegant dinner, reserve your place at the Thanksgiving Feast at Glenlaurel. Here you will celebrate the holiday with a 6-course meal with all of the traditional trimmings.
Thanksgiving Dinner at the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls
Where: Inn & Spa at the Cedar Falls Restaurant
Prices: Adults: $42; Kids 10 and under: $21
What you’ll get: Searching for a family atmosphere this Thanksgiving? At the Thanksgiving Dinner at the Inn, you’ll find a hearty turkey or ham dinner with a variety of side dishes for adults and children to enjoy.
Please note: Thanksgiving dinner will be offered to guests of the Inn first. Off-ground guests may call and reserve a place on the waiting list. Rooms and cottages at the Inn are nearing capacity, so be sure to call early.
Prepare a Meal with Friends and Family – Reserve a Cabin in Hocking Hills
Do you find pleasure in preparing the Thanksgiving meal yourself or having a potluck with friends and family? Check out this list of local cabin rentals. Many cabins have kitchens and dining areas and you can make your own tasty turkey dinner while still enjoying the beauty of the Hocking Hills. Don’t worry if the cabin you want is already taken; plan ahead next time – many cabins are accepting 2014 Thanksgiving reservations now!
Have you ever enjoyed Thanksgiving in Hocking Hills? Where did you feast?
This Guest Blog Post is by Kay, a 25 year old from Pennsylvania who recently celebrated her four year anniversary with her husband in Hocking Hills. This post originally appeared on Kay’s blog, here.
A Beautiful Vacation
I am back from vacation!
We had a wonderful time in Hocking Hills, Ohio. My husband and I stayed at Around the Bend Cabins. The cabin we stayed at was a complete dream! It was secluded, nicely furnished and had a newer feel. We found out later that the cabin is only two years old. We stayed at the cabin with another couple of our friends. That made the experience even more fun!
My husband and I celebrated 4 years of marriage last Thursday. This vacation was kind of a celebration of our anniversary, so it was nice of our friends to let us have the master bedroom. It came with a pretty amazing master bathroom, mostly because of the neat high tech shower!
Since we stayed from Friday through Monday at the cabin, we were able to get free horseback rides at Happy Trails, which was less than a mile from the cabin. This was my first time ever riding horses. I was super nervous and almost backed out. It was raining that morning, which made me nervous about the horse slipping on the trails. We went up and down some pretty steep hills. We rode through the forest (it was an actual forest) and it was a wonderful experience. It was so peaceful, and the forest was even more green from the rain. I felt like I was on set of the movie Twilight. The scenery was breathtaking. Even though I was nervous to ride the horse, the people at Happy Trails really made me feel comfortable and were super nice! I had a great time, and I’m glad that I tried something new!
My husband and I went on a 7 mile canoe ride at Hocking Hills Canoe Livery. We had experienced canoeing before, but not on a river like this! There were some obstacles to overcome, and we went around in circles a couple times, but overall it was a peaceful ride down the river. We were able to canoe under the super zip line which was neat to see. Our friends went zip lining and they had an awesome time! I am too afraid of heights for that; overcoming the horse riding fear was enough for one weekend.
After the canoe ride down the peaceful river, my husband and I went hiking all afternoon. We visited some of the most beautiful landmarks we have ever seen. We were truly awed by natures beauty. Throughout our time in Hocking Hills, we visited Old Man’s Cave, Ash Cave, Rock House, Rockbridge, Conkles Hollow and Cedar Falls. We enjoyed each and every site. My personal favorite was Ash Cave. I could have stayed there all afternoon. It was so amazing! The same with Old Man’s Cave. That one took a little longer to get through. I think I would actually have needed an entire day to truly enjoy the beauty at Old Man’s Cave. Pictures just don’t do it justice, but here are a few from our trip.
The beauty in Hocking Hills is something that everyone should see in person. We are looking forward to going back, someday!
Photos: Kay at http://www.goaloflosing.com
About the Guest Blogger
My name is Kay and I’m 25 years old. I married my high school sweetheart in September of 2009. Since getting married, my husband and I have been on a cruise each year for our anniversary. This year, however, we decided to change our tradition and booked a more active vacation for ourselves. This idea was great for many reasons; we wanted to try something new and we wanted to go on a vacation without compromising our health during the trip. Buffet after buffet on the cruises have not been nice for my goal of losing 100 lbs. This vacation to Hocking Hills was nothing to feel guilty about! We had a great time being active as we explored the wonderful sites in Hocking Hills. It’s a vacation we intend to repeat again, and again!
We can’t wait for the holiday season! On your next visit to Hocking Hills, in between all your hiking and siteseeing, take some time to get started on your holiday shopping at some of the great stores and shops in the area. There are so many places to shop, you’re bound to find something unique for everyone on your list. Here are few places to check out:
Got someone on your list who loves vintage, one-of-a-kind gifts? Antique shops in Hocking Hills may be the perfect place to start your search. Some local shops include:
- Amanda Furniture, Antiques & Craft Mall: New and used furniture, antiques and collectibles
- Random House Antiques & More: Antiques, furniture and collectibles
Everybody knows a fashionista. To please her – or him – give one of Hocking Hills’ local clothing stores a try.
- Sharff’s Fashion: OSU gear, Vera Bradley, apparel and footwear
- The Boot Shop: Boots, seasonal clothing, sandals, novelty tees, fleece and college apparel
Arts and Crafts
Art stores in Hocking Hills have a selection of gifts available for those with eclectic tastes. Find everything from furniture to pottery to glassware to paintings.
- Appalachian Art & Craft Market: Furniture and handmade arts
- Bear Necessities Gift Shop: Crafts and homemade goods
- Lucky Levi’s Leather: Holsters, gun belts, knife sheaths, chaps and other western leather goods
- Misty Ridge Gifts & Collectibles: Handmade crafts and home goods
- Scenic Way Gifts & Art Studio: Glass art created by Audrey Martin, handmade crafts and home goods
These gift and collectibles shops in the area boast quite the selection. You’ll find homemade candles and holiday decorations - perfect not only for gifts, but you also might just find something for yourself!
- Christmas Treasures: Christmas and holiday decorations
- Ruby’s Country Cupboard: Housewares, arts and crafts
- Holliday’s Country Oak: Handmade Amish oak furniture and other small items like baskets and shelving
Do you have a favorite Hocking Hills shop? How about a cherished souvenir from a visit? Share it with us in the comments below!
We LOVE this time of year in Hocking Hills! Not only is there so much going on, but the fall colors are truly beautiful. Don’t just take our word for it – join us this year in the Hocking Hills to experience the beautiful colors. According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the best time to view the leaves in Hocking Hills is mid- to late-October, and this year there are so many unique ways to view the foliage. Here are a few different activities for you to enjoy to this season’s beauty:
Autumn explorers may enjoy experiencing the fall colors by train. Hocking Hills offers many train rides, departing from the Nelsonville Depot. Take a ride on the October Weekday Fall Foliage Train, or find another scenic route that fits into your schedule. For more information and pricing, contact Hocking Valley Scenic Railroad.
Take in the crisp fall air and explore Hocking Hills by foot.
- Spruce Hollow One-Way Treks are offered every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Want something more strenuous? Join us for Grandma Gatewood’s Fall Colors Hike on October 12th at 1 p.m.
- Chapel Cave Treks take place every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and are offered to able-bodied, experienced hikers.
You can also create your own fall hiking experience at any of these popular Hocking Hills locations:
- Ash Cave
- Cantwell Cliffs
- Cedar Falls
- Conkle’s Hollow
- Lake Logan State Park
- Old Man’s Cave
- Rockbridge State Nature Preserve
Not into hiking? Take a deep breath and take in this season with Yoga in the Hills.
If you’re searching for an adrenaline rush, try a rappelling trek. Rappel down the rocky cliffs in Hocking Hills and enjoy the changing leaves from new angles. For more info or to book your trip, click here.
Fall Color Tour Photography Workshop
This hands-on photography workshop will be held in Hocking Hills State Park on October 19 and include a catered lunch. Reservations are required, and the cost is $129 per person. Click for more information.
Ziplining and Canopy Tours
Take in the beauty of the fall colors while enjoying a canopy tour or ziplining excursion! Canopy tours now offered for children and adults.
Scenic Air Tour photo from Britt Reints, who shared her visit on our blog here.
We want to hear from you! How do you like to enjoy fall in Hocking Hills? Leave us a comment!