When Hocking Hills Truly Blooms
MARCH ~ APRIL ~ MAY
From the blooming flowers to the warming temperatures, Hocking Hills is full of new life and beauty that can’t be found anywhere else. Whether you’re looking for a celebration of nature, a deep dive into the flavors of the region, or something reflecting its Appalachian culture, Hocking Hills in springtime has a little something for everyone.
Typically in the middle of March the process of Maple Sugaring In The Hills begins. Ohio produces the 5th most maple syrup in the country and visitors can experience an up close and personal education of the process by going to the Naturalist Cabin, which is located behind the Old Man’s Cave Welcome Center. There is also a Maple Tapping Festival held at Charles Alley Nature Park, which is a bit further north, usually the first two weekends in March.
Also held in March each year is the Hocking Hills Comfort Food Cruise. A collection of locally owned eateries band together for the event and serve up their most comforting dishes. Tickets are required and a portion of the proceeds goes to the local food pantry. If you’re around during the time that the cruise is in full swing, it’s a wonderful way to enjoy a wide array of classic comfort foods and get some bang for your buck.
April showers bring the Wildflowers and Waterfalls Hike at the state park, which is actually a weeklong celebration of the native flora across several different hikes hosted by the state park staff. Hocking Hills is truly a sight to behold this time of year. Due to its unique geography and climate, the area is home to a wide variety of plant and tree species that provide a breathtaking backdrop to the stunning landscapes. Rhododendron, mountain laurel, ferns and orchids are among the region’s showiest plant species.
Visitors to the area in May can travel over to the small town of McArthur where they hold the large Wild Turkey Festival. This is an event that goes back decades and beyond celebrating all things turkey-related, there are carnival rides, car/motorcycle shows, live music, arts and crafts booths, and more.
While the turkey fest is towards the beginning of May, the end of May brings in the New Straitsville Moonshine Festival. Another decades-old annual affair, the moonshine fest promises a “spirited” celebration of an alcoholic beverage with a long and storied history in Hocking Hills.