Ash Cave - Hocking Hills State Park GPS Tracking: 39.395993,-82.545927
Ash Cave is one of the six major areas of Hocking Hills State Park - Old Man's Cave, Ash Cave, Rock House, Conkle's Hollow, Cedar Falls and Cantwell Cliffs. Each of the park areas offers a unique experience for those who walk its paths. From hemlock-lined trails, to huge rock formation, waterfalls to rock bridges, guests to the park are sure to treasure their explorations for years to come. Rich in forested areas and natural wonders, there are over 25 miles of hiking trails in the Hocking Hills State Park system.
The Look: Towering hemlocks, a cascading waterfall and a wide recess cave make Ash Cave one of Hocking Hills State Park's most popular hiking trails. An added bonus is that the part of the trail leading to the cave is asphalt and easily accessible for wheelchairs and strollers. As always, cliff areas are not safe for pets and children!
Interesting things to look for:
As you enter the recess cave, look for the huge rock formation on the opposite side of the creek. This is known as Pulpet Rock and was once used as a "preaching pulpet" for ministers of area churches having services in the cave.
In the winter, the waterfall has been known to freeze from top to bottom!
The waterfall makes an eerie, low echo against the walls if you stand near the bottom of the steps leading to the upper trail.
The birds you see flying around the top of the recess cave and nesting in the eaves are Rock Pigeons. Their native habitats are cliff sides in Europe-they are here because their early ancestors stowed away on ship masts and crossed the ocean into America. They make a creepy, deep cooing many have sworn were ghosts in the corners of the cave.
Length: There is an upper and lower trail at Ash Cave, each one approximately a 1/2 mile long. The lower trail is handicap accessible along a paved sidewalk ending in the large sandy region of the recess cave. It takes approximately a 1/2 hour to hike the trail.
The upper section is a little more rugged and takes 40 minutes to an hour to complete.