Let The Magic Of A Hocking Hills Winter Take Your Breath Away
DECEMBER ~ JANUARY ~ FEBRUARY
Winter is one of the most underrated times of year in Hocking Hills. Imagine watching a fresh blanket of snow slowly falling on the hemlocks, birches, maples, and oaks of the Hocking Hills forest and forest floor while you rest warmly by the fireplace (or outside in your private hot tub). It’s the perfect time of year to rest cozily in a log cabin of your choosing or to strike out and see the magic of Hocking Hills (all while having much more of the trails to yourself as the crowds tend to be thinner this time of year!)
In December, the state park offers Christmas In Ash Cave, which is an opportunity to meet Santa in a setting that far surpasses any shopping mall. Usually held in the evenings, visitors can take their little ones down the handicap accessible, lantern lit pathway to Ash Cave itself where they will have the opportunity to sit with Santa, sit around a campfire, listen to carolers, and enjoy hot chocolate and cookies.
If you prefer to visit with Old Saint Nick in a warmer setting, you might consider climbing aboard the Santa Train. A tradition that goes back more than 3 decades, the Santa Train takes guests on a railroad trek across the Hocking River Valley. Each child will have a chance to meet with Santa and share his/her Christmas gift wishlist.
By far the most popular activity is the annual Winter Hike held by the state park each January. This 6-mile trek winds your way from its start at the Upper Falls portion of the Old Man’s Cave area and allows you to hit many of the park’s most celebrated features, including Old Man’s Cave, Rose Lake, a portion of Cedar Falls, and ending in Ash Cave (photo below of the Ash Cave waterfall in winter). You’re welcome to hike at your own pace and refreshments, such as hot chocolate, are provided along the way. The state park staff will also bus you back to your parking area from Ash Cave, making it an epic way to enjoy much of Hocking Hill’s splendor.
Also occurring every January is the annual Logan Frozen Festival. Head into downtown Logan and see ice sculptures (including sculpting demonstrations), have your photo taken while sitting in an ice throne, play various games, do some “iceless” skate, or enjoy some of the local food trucks and live entertainment.
In February, the state park offers another winter hike, this one inspired by Valentine’s Day. The Sweetheart’s Hike is a picturesque stroll to Ash Cave with campfires and refreshments provided to the romantics out there (and the non-romantics: all are welcome).
Other wonderful, unscheduled activities during the winter include ice skating or sledding at Lake Logan State Park, taking a “bakeation” and enjoying some fresh-out-of-the-oven cookies, or doing some holiday shopping at the various local stores, including Christmas Treasures which is open year round.