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© Bud Schrader Photography

Old Man's Cave

The most popular of all the Hocking areas is Old Man's Cave, located on State Route 664. Here at the Upper Falls, the Grandma Gatewood Trail begins its six-mile course connecting three of the park's areas: Old Man's Cave to Cedar Falls to Ash Cave. This same trail has been designated as part of Ohio's Buckeye Trail as well as part of two national systems - the North Country Scenic Trail and America's Discovery Trail.

© Bud Schrader Photography
Inside Old Mans Cave - So much to see, but this is what it looks like from inside the cave

Old Man's Cave derives its name from the hermit Richard Rowe who lived in the large recess cave of the gorge. His family moved to the Ohio River Valley around 1796 from the Cumberland Mountains of Tennessee to establish a trading post. He and his two dogs traveled through Ohio along the Scioto River in search of game. On one side trip up Salt Creek, he found the Hocking Region. Rowe lived out his life in the area and is buried beneath the ledge of the main recess cave. Earlier residents of the cave were two brothers, Nathaniel and Pat Rayon, who came to the area in 1795. They built a permanent cabin 30 feet north of the cave entrance. Both brothers are buried in or near the cave. Their cabin was later dismantled and relocated on the nearby Iles farm to be used as a tobacco drying house.

© hockinghills.com
Bridge over Devils Bathtub -

The Old Man's Cave area can be divided into five principal sections found along the valley of Old Man's Creek. In order, they are: Upper Falls, Upper Gorge, Middle Falls, Lower Falls and Lower Gorge. Along the length of the trail the magnificent gorge cuts through the entire 150-foot thickness of the Blackhand sandstone. Carved by the creek, the gorge serves as an avenue for visitors to peer into the earth's subsurface. The full distance of the gorge is approximately one half mile.

© Bud Schrader Photography
Lower Falls, Old Mans Cave - Worth the hike down trail to this area.

Whispering Cave Trail Map (new)
Old Man's Cave Hiking Trail Map
Location Map
Old Mans Cave Campground Map
Old Mans Cave Cottage Map
Calendar of Events
Reptile Rampage
Sat Apr 21

2:00 pm

What makes a reptile a reptile... what is cold blooded... who lives around here...

For the answer to these and other questions join the naturalist at the naturalists cabin located behind the Old Mans Cave Visitor Center.

Cost: Free Event

Contact: Hocking Hills State Park, Phone: 740-385-6842

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Special Interest, Wildlife,
The Wonders of Old Man's Cave
Fri Apr 27

10:00 am.

Meet the Naturalist at the Naturalist Cabin for a short hike and discover some facts about the history of the area and the rock formations that are found through the park.

Cost: Free

Contact: Hocking Hills State Park, Phone: 740-385-6841

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Family Oriented, Special Interest, Historical,
Skin and Skulls
Sat May 5

2:00 pm

Join the naturalist at the Naturalist Cabin to see what critters make the Hocking Hills home.

Cost: Free

Contact: Hocking Hills State Park, Phone: 740-385-6841

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Family Oriented, Special Interest, Wildlife,
Terrific Turtles
Fri May 11

2:00 pm

Stop by the Naturalist Cabin to learn about the turtles that make Hocking Hills their home. Learn about eh decline of teh Eastern Box Turtle and ways we can help.

Cost: Free

Contact: Hocking Hills State Park, Phone: 740-385-6841

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Family Oriented, Special Interest, Wildlife,
Hockings Owls
Sat May 26

2:00 pm.

Join the naturalist at the Naturalist Cabin for a closer look at Ohios winged nocturnal predators.

Cost: Free

Contact: Hocking Hills State Park, Phone: 740-385-6841

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Family Oriented, Special Interest, Wildlife,
The Wonders of Old Man's Cave
Sat May 26

9:00 am.

Meet the Naturalist at the Naturalist Cabin for a short hike and discover some facts about the history of the area and the rock formations that are found through the park.

Cost: Free

Contact: Hocking Hills State Park, Phone: 740-385-6841

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Family Oriented, Special Interest, Historical,
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