The Hocking Hills Scenic Byway takes travelers deep into the historic hills of southeast Ohio. The Byway traverses hills and valleys and past the six non-contiguous sites of the Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio’s natural crown jewels.
The Byway also passed historically significant sights and businesses.& The scenery all along the Byway is stunning in every season.
Begin on State Route 374 at US 33 in Rockbridge. State Route 374 was designed to connect the Hocking Hills State Park sites; Cantwell Cliffs, Rock House, Conkle’s Hollow, Old Man’s Cave, Cedar Falls and Ash Cave, from north to south.
The Hocking State Forest Headquarters was the Hocking County Honor Camp in the 1930’s to house prisoners who were not a flight risk. These men planted trees, fought forest fires and helped take care of the parks. A guard went with them wherever they went. It was not necessarily economical but it gave prisoners time in the outdoors and an opportunity to learn new skills.
The remains of the Black Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp can still be seen just past the entrance to the Hocking State Forest. These men planted trees, created trails and built some of the structures found in the parks.
At mile 11.9 on the Byway is the Village of Mound Crossing. The mound located in the backyard of the old farmhouse was built by the Hopewell Indians before the birth of Christ.
One of the first cabin businesses in the Hocking Hills is located at mile 13.2. Now called Nestle Inn, it was originally known as Little Denmark. Another long time Hocking Hills lodging establishment is located at mile 23.3. The Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls has grown by leaps and bounds from its humble log cabin beginnings.
The Hocking Hills State Park offers Naturalist-guided hikes and activities throughout the year at all the park sites. All sites offer various length hiking trails. Ash Cave and Conkle’s Hollow have handicap accessible trails. Along the trails hikers are treated to sparkling waterfalls, prehistoric caves and breathtaking scenic vistas.
Whether looking for a lovely country drive while visiting the Hocking Hills or a more active experience the Hocking Hills Scenic Byway will exceed your expectations.
For information on the entire Ohio Scenic Byway, visit this page on the ODOT website.