One Drive. 2 Hikes.
And 3 Awesome Views. A Heart of Hocking Guide to Fall Colors
Fall Colors in the Hocking Hills - Autumn creeps into the Hocking Hills in late September and then bursts into October with brilliant oranges, yellows, reds and greens. If you are looking for the "best" date to come, we can't actually say when it will be. Things like the amount of rain, cool air and other factors make it difficult to pinpoint an exact date. However, if you look below, you can see it is usually mid-October when the most radiant colors flow across the Hocking Hills horizon.
Update: October 2012 - Big changes this week, lots of colors already poking through the horizon. Cooler nights - about 55 degrees and warm days -about 81 degrees. Rain off and on. When is peak? Guesses come in about Fall Hike which is the week of October 13th!
What to wear in October when leaf peeping - Ohio's weather in the fall could definitely be called 'fickle'. Temperatures can range from 45 degrees to 70 degrees! Suggested clothing is jeans or warm pants, t-shirt or sweatshirt and a waterproof jacket. Grab some clothes you can layer if it is cooler in the morning and you can toss in a backpack during the warmer afternoons. We recommend hiking boots or tennis shoes with a thick tread - leaves along the trail can be slippery!
Fall Color Hikes in the Region:
October 13 Grandma Gatewood’s Fall Colors Hike Hocking Hills State Park- 1:00 PM Bring along a cool drink and celebrate the season’s colors. Meet with the naturalist at the Old Man’s Cave Visitor Center for a strenuous hike that spans roughly 6 miles of the Grandma Gatewood trail. We will be traversing the section that runs from Old Man’s Cave to Cedar Falls and back while enjoying the scenic beauty and cultural personality. This hike does include several hills and steps and is not recommended for the easily winded individual. (Approx. 3 to 4 hrs) 740-385-8003
Columbus Metroparks Information 614.891.0700 | Reservations 614.508.8111 | InfoLine 614.508.8000
Springhouse Program Area 8445 Winchester Rd. NW Carroll OH 43112
Columbus Metroparks -Innis Woods
Information 614.891.0700 | Reservations 614.508.8111 | InfoLine 614.508.8000
Lake Hope State Park -
Lake Hope State Park Fall Hike at 27331 St. Rd. 278, in
McArthur, OH. -mile guided hikes begin at 10:00am from the shelter
house. Hike ends at Hope Furnace with bean soup and cornbread. Shuttles
return you to your car. Enjoy Sassafras tea to start.(740) 596-3030
How it starts: September 21 - Warm days, cool nights and rain gets the leaves beginning to change color. The deep greens will begin fade to a smoky gray-green. Although not yet the deep maroons, pumpkin oranges and golden yellows of mid-October, the changes are just a month away!
View from fire tower - Hocking Hills State Forest September Mid
View from fire tower - Hocking Hills September End
One Drive. 2 Hikes.
And 3 Awesome Views.
Autumn. It is here in the Hocking Hills with bright yellows, deep oranges and brilliant maroons. And there is alot of it. You don't even have to get our of your car to catch an entire horizon of fall colors. But if you've come to hike, take pictures, relax and catch a few colors before Winter comes crashing down on us with snow, here's a few places you can drive to see some greens, oranges, yellows and maroons.
Please note that the drive will take you past all of the Hocking Hills State Park trails (all 25 miles of trails!), so feel free to stop in and visit each one. We have noted those below that offer the best views. But please remember - with views come cliffs! Please make sure all pets and children are under your control when hiking. Conkle's Hollow does not allow pets as it is a nature preserve. The lower trail is wheelchair and stroller accessible. Please stay on the trails at all Hocking Hills State Park areas - it is the law.
Start out at
Ash Cave (GPS
Tracking: 39.395993,-82.545927 )
)on State Route 56. Turn left on the first road to the left - State Route 374. You'll pass places like Cedar Falls and Rose Lake (GPS Tracking: 39.417215,-82.525359). If you're not in a hurry, stop at the Rose Lake Fishing gravel parking area not far after Cedar Falls on the right hand side. You can hike down to Rose Lake and get a bit of color there, too.
Continue on until you get to the stop sign on State Route 664 and turn left (State Route 664 and 374 join together here for the next two miles). This road will take you pastOld Man's Cave (GPS Tracking: 39.434668,-82.541571). Don't forget to stop in at the Expedition Trail right behind the Hocking Hills State Park Visitor Center. There are picnic tables for a quick lunch and plenty of hands-on nature games for folks of all ages. Continue along 664 until you get to State Route 374 on the right-This will lead you toward the Rock Climbing Area past Conkle's Hollow (GPS Tracking: 39.452879,-82.572148), Rock House (G
PS Tracking: 39.496623,-82.621307) and Cantwell Cliffs (GPS Tracking: 39.544724,-82.588305). You can then continue on State Route 374 to State to State Route 33 (39.576536,-82.522066). Take State Route 33 East past Logan to State Route 664 South (39.537741,-82.443123). This will take you back to Hocking Hills State Park's Old Man's Cave (39.426116,-82.547407).
Two Hikes with 3 Awesome Views
Conkle's Hollow - Take State Route 374 and turn on to Big Pine Road. From there, follow the signs to Conkle's Hollow where you will travel a dead-end drive back to the parking area and trail head.
When you get on the trail, head toward the Upper Rim Trail designated by the many steps. Since this is a preserve, you must stay on the marked trails! Also a word of caution-the upper section of Conkle's Hollow is over 200 feet in the air in some places and the trail is along the edge. No Pets are allowed. Don't take kids here and certainly, use your common sense.
Conkle's Hollow Upper Trail From Forestry Headquarters: you will have to leave Conkle's Hollow parking lot to get here. Pull out of Conkle's Hollow and make a right. Go to the first stop sign (State Route 374) and make a right. Go about a 1/2 mile and watch for the pull offs on the right. Do not block any gates. Follow the tail to lookout point.
Cantwell Cliffs: Cantwell Cliffs is one of the most remote and the least visited of the six park areas. The trail overlaps itself so look at the map carefully if you want to avoid going in circles. There is a 2 mile gorge trail and approximately a mile of rim trail.
Click on the Map for a Larger View - This map will take you on an Autumn drive you'll never forget. We've mapped it out to circle the most prominent hiking areas in the Hocking Hills, all known for their seasonal waterfalls and awesome autumn views.