The best winter activities in Hocking Hills

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Naturally, our instincts during the winter months tell us to hunker down and hide out until the first thaw of spring — or just complain day in and day out about the weather.

Planning fun activities during these months can stave off those winter blues. You might think Hocking Hills shuts down for the winter given the frigid Ohio temperatures, but we’ve got news for you!

Winter is wonderful in Hocking Hills, and here’s a roundup of go-to winter outdoor activities in the Hocking Hills to prove it.

Winter hiking


So you think you’ll be cold, right? But then you start moving, climbing over frozen creek beds and cautiously inching down icy trails, and there’s no wind at all — the only sound is of snow occasionally dropping from branches. It might be the quietest, most peaceful time in the woods at Hocking Hills.

Whether it’s Ash Cave or Cedar Falls, the ice and snow formations along the trails will be unforgettable.

Sledding at Lake Hope State Park Dam


Grab your sled and check out the hills at Lake Hope State Park. Bundle up and get a workout sledding down and walking up this perfect hill right off State Route 278. Want to warm up afterwards? Check out Lake Hope Lodge. A restaurant inside the park with fantastic views of Lake Hope, Lake Hope Lodge offers wood-fired pizza and house-smoked meats.

Lake Hope State Park
27331 OH-278, McArthur

Ice skating at Lake Logan State Park


What a perfect time of year to hit the frozen lake to skate — or to try ice-fishing (if you’re into that sort of thing). Lake Logan State Park boasts that it’s “one of the best fishing lakes in Ohio.”

Lake Logan State Park
20160 St. Rt. 664, Logan

Photo by Instagram user @beverleyedmondsonmillinery Photo by Instagram user @beverleyedmondsonmillinery

Cross-country skiing at Glenlaurel Inn and Cottages


You’ll have to be a guest at Glenlaurel to access the cross-country trails, so check out their adorable cottages, grab your skis and stay the night. They have a classic ridge-top bonfire pit to warm up by after your trek and a fine-dining restaurant serving six-course meals.

Photo by Instagram user @reeofhope Photo by Instagram user @reeofhope

Starbrick Gallery Holiday Open House


Everyone loves Final Fridays in downtown Nelsonville, though some might find it more fun in the warmer months.

We disagree. Walking around lovely downtown Nelsonville and shopping for holiday gifts is definitely on our list of fun outdoor Hocking Hills activities.

With local businesses like Starbrick Gallery hosting festivities, you can duck in and warm up. Check out the local art, live music, refreshments, raffles, and take home a handmade ornament for a unique holiday gift. Their open house is hosted every Friday throughout the holiday season.

Starbrick Gallery
5:30-9:30 p.m. Fridays through Dec. 24
21 W. Columbus St., Nelsonville
starbrick.com

Photo by Instagram user @starbrick.cooperative.gallery Photo by Instagram user @starbrick.cooperative.gallery

Staying in a warm and cozy cabin


And of course, you need cold weather to fully appreciate the warmth and toastiness of your cabin.

For those who really hate the cold, curl up under a blanket by a window and just gaze at the lightly falling snow outside.

You don’t even have to take a step out there. Well, maybe just for a relaxing soak in the hot tub!