Hocking Hills is known for its natural beauty, high cliffs, deep gorges, and unique rock formations. The natural wonders throughout Hocking County attract visitors from all over the United States.
I love discovering the lesser-known hidden gems when I visit a region.
You’ll definitely want to add these unique experiences and hidden gems to your list during your next visit to Hocking Hills in southeastern Ohio.
I’m sharing more about fun things to do including local attractions, outdoor activities, and the best places to visit for an unforgettable experience.
This article contains affiliate links.
13178 OH-664, Logan, OH
Take a trip down memory lane while you view a collection of more than 3400+ pencil sharpeners.
The pencil sharpener museum is conveniently located steps from the Hocking Hills Regional Welcome Center.
I always recommend stopping here first when you visit Hocking Hills. The staff is a wonderful resource for how to make the best use of your time during your visit.
You can always learn so much about the best Hocking Hills activities, even if it’s not your first visit to the area.
There are so many different areas of this popular destination that it can be a little overwhelming with where to start when it comes to fun activities.
The pencil sharpener museum is small and mighty.
*Please note that the museum does NOT accept donations of pencil sharpeners. The exhibit has limited space and it showcases one man’s collection.
The words “Keep Sharp, Be Sharp, Act Sharp, Stay Sharp” are displayed above the cases in the center of the mini-museum.
The collection of pencil sharpeners was started by Reverend Paul Johnson more than 20 years ago and admission is free.
Make sure that you take time to look at the individual items on display in the cases of the largest collection of pencil sharpeners in America. You’re sure to find some fun ones!
Walk, Go Horseback Riding or Bike From Moonville Tunnel to Kings Hollow Tunnel
Hope-Moonville Rd, McArthur, OH
The 16-mile rail trail includes Zaleski State Forest with the communities of Zaleski and Mineral and the Lake Hope State Park wetland areas.
We started at the Moonville Tunnel parking lot and traveled from Moonville Tunnel to the road after Kings Hollow Tunnel and back.
On the way to Moonville Tunnel, you’ll travel across a bridge with an assortment of colorful locks left by couples to proclaim their love for one another.
Close to where I live, people have added locks to the Purple People Bridge that connects Cincinnati, OH, and Newport, KY.
The bridge has changed where you can place locks to a very specific section so that it doesn’t affect the bridge structure in a negative way.
If you like graffiti art, you’ll love all of the bright colors of the brick walls inside the Moonville Tunnel.
I’m personally not a fan of scary things but I felt fine during our visit without any creepy vibes.
Horseback Riding Options Spring-Fall
If you want to experience one of the tunnels by horse, Uncle Buck’s Riding Stable and Dance Barn offers “The Moonville Tunnel Ride” for ages 9 and up that lasts around 2.5 hours.
Another option is “Ride to Kings Hollow Tunnel” which is a 3-hour ride for ages 9 and up.
If you want to go horseback riding strictly in Hocking Hills State Forest, check out Blue Moon Acres horse ranch for adults with riding experience.
Ride Bikes Between Moonville and Kings Hollow Tunnel
It’s approximately 3 miles between the two tunnels which is why we preferred riding fat tire e-bikes over walking the 6-mile round trip.
During our bike ride, we enjoyed the scenic views on both sides of the path that crossed over several bridges.
The bike path can be pretty uneven/bumpy at times and I would definitely recommend using a bike with fat tires/mountain bike tires over a regular road bike.
Visit Kings Hollow Tunnel (also known as King Switch Tunnel)
Township Hwy 21, New Marshfield, OH
The inside of Kings Hollow Tunnel is made with a series of 12X12 wooden beams.
It’s also considerably darker inside the 120-foot tunnel structure once you reach the middle.
Thankfully our e-bikes had headlights because the path inside the tunnel was pretty bumpy and it was very dark.
I don’t think that I would have felt comfortable doing the ride on thinner tires, although we did see a few other bike riders on them.
Paint a Masterpiece in the Splatter Studio at Young at Art, LLC
117 E 6th Ave, Lancaster, OH
If you are looking for a unique experience, the Splatter Studio at Young at Art LLC is a MUST!
Young at Art LLC was started by a local public middle school art teacher. At her art studio, she teaches monthly art classes and canvas painting parties…but the Splatter Studio is what got my attention.
You can create a unique one-of-a-kind masterpiece on a blank white canvas.
My favorite part about the Splatter Studio was that it was so different and even felt a little mischievous.
It’s actually OK to get paint on the floors and the walls. It’s even fun if you end up getting a little paint on each other.
What should you wear for splatter painting at the Splatter Studio?
The Splatter Studio uses washable and non-toxic paint.
Painters are supplied with protective gear to put over their clothing including goggles, a poncho, and covers for your shoes that go up to your calf. It’s still recommended that you dress down just in case.
I would recommend wearing a short-sleeved shirt to be fully covered by the poncho.
If you want to capture your painting experience with photos and video I would suggest putting your cell phone in a waterproof case.
Splatter Studio sessions typically last about 30-45 minutes.
You can be as creative and free to sling paint as you want to be while you paint your canvas.
The only thing that you can’t do is mix paint colors in the paint containers or mix the paint brushes.
The splatter room appeals to all ages and skill levels. In fact, it’s probably best if you don’t overthink it and just go with it.
Seriously, this experience is SO MUCH FUN!!!! We smiled and laughed the whole time.
Blacklight Splatter Session
If you want to take your splatter paint experience to the next level, book a backlight splatter session.
The colors on the canvas are really vibrant and it’s wild to see how different each painting… and each person looks under a blacklight vs. daylight.
After you complete your 16X20″ original painting you need to be prepared to transport a wet canvas with you.
You’ll be given a poster board to transfer it on. (I would suggest making room in your trunk with trash bags laid spread out.)
Private sessions in the Splatter Studio can be scheduled for groups of 2-12 by appointment.
Enjoy the View from the Top of Mount Pleasant
1000 N High St, Lancaster, OH
You can enjoy an incredible view of downtown Lancaster and the surrounding area from the top of Mount Pleasant, a 250-foot-high sandstone bluff at Rising Park.
The 0.7-mile out-and-back trail has an elevation gain of 206 feet.
The moderate trail takes an average of around 25 minutes to complete.
The elevation change will definitely get your heart pumping but it’s worth it for the views at the top.
There is a railing along some portions along the top of the cliff but you’ll definitely want to keep younger kids really close to you.
If you want to spend more time at the park there is a playground and catch-and-release fishing pond. The park is open from sunrise to sunset.
Try Glassblowing at Jack Pine Studio
21397 OH-180, Laurelville, OH
Watch an artist in action during a glassblowing demo, explore the art gallery/gift shop, or try your hand at glassblowing for a one-of-a-kind take-home souvenir.
Jack Pine Studio is most known for its beautiful glass pumpkins offered in a variety of sizes and colors.
Artist/owner, Jack Pine grew up in southern Ohio and has returned to the area after years of schooling in Columbus and entrepreneurial adventures in other states.
Glass Pumpkins by Jack Pine Studio has been a part of the Pumpkin Festival in Circleville, OH in October for years. Now you can also attend the Glass Pumpkin Festival located at the studio in September.
Super fans of Jack’s work look forward to and collect the annual featured pumpkin each year too.
Glassblowing Classes at Jack Pine Studio
If you want to try your hand at creating something beautiful, sign up to make a glass ornament or paperweight.
You can even make a glass pumpkin for a more advanced class. I would recommend booking online so that you can get your preferred date and time.
Before you start, you’re given an overview of the steps for making your item. I got to pick out the primary and secondary colors for my ornament, which were cobalt blue and white.
From start to finish, the glassblowing class goes pretty fast if you are the only person in the class. It typically takes about an hour for 2-4 people to go through the process.
After you finish your piece it will cool down inside the annealer. The cooling process takes 24-48 hours. If you can’t pick it up the following day you can have them ship it to you for an additional fee.
Play a Round of Wormburner Park Golf
Located at Campbell Cove Campground at 30713 Lake Logan Rd, Logan, Ohio
Wormburner Park Golf is the second course of its kind in the US!
What is Park Golf?
Park golf includes elements of golf, mini golf, and croquet.
Park golf uses 1 flat-faced club and 1 large resin ball to play.
You hit the ball from a teeing ground towards a hole and count the number of strokes that you take until the ball goes into the cup. Your goal is to put the ball in the cup with the fewest number of strokes.
You may notice that the tee is attached to a string and that’s because otherwise it would go flying into the air.
There are 18 holes on the course that weave back and forth with a few more steps than mini golf.
The course is operated on a first-come,- first-served basis. There are no reservations or tee times.
How Long Does it Take to Play Park Golf?
You’ll need to budget around 40 minutes for 2 players, 1hr 15 minutes for 4 plays. If you have more than 4 players you may want to break into two groups or plan on budgeting more time to play.
The game is really fun to play and the course is open seasonally until early November.
Experience the Art of Blacksmithing at Lockhart Ironworks, Home of the Southern Ohio School of Blacksmithing
4515 Township Road 430 Logan, OH
You can shop for hand-forged cookware at the location where it was made by a family of blacksmiths.
My friend is a true cook seeking out healthier cookware options…and I basically make eggs because they are quick and easy.
After learning more about the quality of the craftsmanship, we both bought 10″ pans.
Fun fact: Lockhart 10″ pans measure 10 inches on the inside of the pan NOT the outside of the pan, which is the industry standard.
This is because owner/blacksmith Doug Lockhart didn’t feel right charging for a 10″ pan if it didn’t truly have 10 inches of cooking surface inside.
Doug is dedicated to passing on the art of blacksmithing to the next generation. All of his kids are involved in the family business as well as their spouses.
What are the benefits of using pans and skillets made of hand-forge steel from Lockhart Ironworks?
- Non-toxic with no harmful chemicals
- Naturally non-stick
- Made with USA Steel (solid high carbon steel)
- Hand-forged in Logan, OH
- Suitable for all stoves
- Lifetime guarantee (“the last pan you’ll need to buy”/heirloom quality)
- Lighter than cast iron
- Balanced, hand-riveted handle prevents heat transfer
- You’re supporting a family business
- FREE Shipping within the US
Blacksmith Classes with Southern Ohio School of Blacksmithing
Doug’s passion for passing on the art of blacksmithing doesn’t stop with his family.
He wants to train more blacksmiths as entrepreneurs to create quality products that last longer than we do.
Southern Ohio School of Blacksmithing gives students an opportunity to spend a day learning the basics of Blacksmithing.
Students start with the 8-hour beginner blacksmith class. After completing the beginner class they are eligible for any of the intermediate blacksmith classes.
During the class, you’ll learn more about the economics of blacksmithing, the basic equipment you would need to start your own blacksmith shop, and basic skills for creating items.
Class size is generally limited to 14 people for men, women, and children ages 12 and up.
There is a special discount for veterans and first responders and there is even a special anvil for wheelchair users.
The 8-hour beginner blacksmith class includes lunch and students will have 4 finished projects to take home.
See a 600+ Year Old White Oak Tree
N. Mulberry Street, Logan, OH
Take a moment to appreciate an oak tree that’s over 600 years old, located in the old cemetery in the town of Logan.
The great white oak of Logan has a small plaque viewable from the sidewalk.
Book a Hands-On Highland Cattle Experience at Pfarr Farms
Pfarr Farms is located right outside Hocking Hills State Park in Laurelville, OH.
*The address is provided via email once you book an encounter for the safety and privacy reasons of the owners.
If you want an unforgettable animal encounter, I highly recommend booking the hands-on Highland Cattle Experience at Pfarr Farms.
The hands-on experience allows you to interact with Scottish Highland cows from INSIDE the fence.
During your cow encounter, you can brush them, feed them, bottle feed the babies, and love on them as much as you want.
The cows are affectionately referred to as “grass-eating puppies” and once you experience interacting with their sweet temperaments, you’ll understand why.
The babies and the adult cows are so gentle and sweet.
The experience of interacting with Scottish Highland cows was PURE JOY!!!
A few tips before you go:
- You must book an appointment in advance. Don’t show up at the farm out of respect that it’s also where the owners live.
- Wear close-toed shoes. Rainboots are ideal because you will be walking on a combo of hay and poo. There are shoe covers available too.
- Have your phone ready for cute pics and videos.
The hands-on Scottish Highland Cattle experience is available for all ages and you will be asked to sign a waiver before you interact with the cows.
Bookings start in groups of 4 people and upcoming available booking dates can be found on their website.
Be prepared to fall in love with this special animal after you cuddle with the cows!
You can’t take one home but you can purchase Scottish Highland cow merchandise at the farm before you go.
Relax in one of the Sauna Pods in Hocking Hills
18905 State Route 664 S, Logan, OH
If you are craving the heat of a hot tub, a sauna pod might be the next best thing. Sauna pods are enclosed spaces with a dry heat source similar to a sauna bath.
This is a great place to relax and open your pores after a long day of outdoor adventure.
The barrel-shaped cedar sauna pods seat up to four people and have a ceiling height of over 6 feet in the center. You can drive up to the pod and get ready in the changing chamber before stepping into the sauna.
There is mood lighting that you can adjust and a Bluetooth speaker that you can connect with.
Bottled water and towels are available for guests at check-in. It’s also suggested that you bring additional water to stay hydrated. Sauna robes are available for an additional fee.
Inside the sauna, there is a floor-to-ceiling fish-eye window with a view of Hocking Hills.
The sauna pods can be reserved for 1 hour, 2 hours, or a full day. The best time to save on your sauna visit is by taking advantage of lower prices midweek.
Make sure you make a reservation ahead of time so that you have your desired day and time.
Experts recommend that you don’t stay in the sauna pod longer than 15 minutes with 10-minute breaks between sessions.
So even if you have the sauna pod booked for an hour you won’t be staying in it the whole time of your session.
Coffee Flight at the Hocking Hills Oasis Coffee Shop & More
26850 US Highway 33 Rockbridge, Ohio
If you love coffee, Oasis Coffee Shop is a caffeinated stop that you don’t want to miss!
One of the best things about this coffee shop is its coffee flights.
They come in iced or hot and have both regular flavors; they also release a special new flight with seasonal flavors each month. There is also a hot chocolate option if you aren’t a fan of coffee.
During our visit, we tried both a regular coffee flight and a seasonal flight.
We chose the Nutty Irishman, Peppermint Mocha, Oatmeal Creme Pie, and S’mores for our coffee flight.
Our seasonal flight with iced coffee came in the flavors of Lucky Charms, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Captain Crunch, and Cookie Crisp.
If you love to take photos of your food and drinks there is even a photo wall on the second level of the building.
The coffee shop is located within walking distance of several antique shops if you need more coffee before visiting more area flea markets.
This location is double the fun because you can also play a round of 18-hole mini golf here.
Enjoy a Flight at Hocking Hills Winery
30402 Freeman Rd, Logan, OH
Hocking Hills Winery is one of the popular spots for both locals and tourists in the town of Logan.
This family-owned and operated winery has bragging rights with several award-winning wines.
When you order a flight, make sure that you also try one of their popular wine slushy flavors. In addition to wine, you have several charcuterie board options to tide you over before visiting one of the local restaurants.
M & M Diner, Hocking Hills Diner, Millstone BBQ, Kindred Spirits, Hungry Buffalo, La Casada, and Pizza Crossing are popular restaurant options. For a fine dining experience, Glenlaurel Scottish Inn is known for its 6-course meal.
The winery has a beautiful outdoor space with plenty of seating and a small stage for live music. This is definitely the setting for a great time.
Star Gaze at John Glenn Astronomy Park
20531 OH-664 Scenic, Logan, OH
Experience the spectacular scenery of the sky at the John Glenn Astronomy Park.
The park is open to the public during the day and at night. There is no admission fee to visit the grounds or for any of the programs.
Depending on what time of year you visit, you might be able to join one of the guided stargazing sessions. Be on the lookout for stargazing programs in the spring on clear Fridays and Saturdays.
You can bring your own telescope to the park, just make sure that you sign in when you arrive.
If you visit during the day you can walk the plaza with a very specific design. On the first of each of the four seasons, the rays of the sun fall upon a central point.
Guests can also view the night sky through a large 28-inch telescope in the roll-off roof observatory onsite. Star gazing is dependent on the weather so make sure that you download the JGAP app before you go.
See the World’s Largest Washboard at Columbus Washboard Company
14 Gallagher Ave, Logan, OH
The World’s Largest Washboard is located at the only washboard manufacturer still operating in the US. The 24-foot washboard is a replica of one of the company’s products.
The Columbus Washboard Company has been around since 1895 and still assembles its products by hand. The company started outside of Columbus and moved to Logan in 1999.
You can also pre-book a 35-minute guided tour of the factory with a group size of 4 or more people. During the tour, you’ll learn about the washboard-making process and get to see equipment and tools used in the 1800s.
The Washboard Factory is also part of the world-famous Washboard Fest in Logan, Ohio.
The free festival takes place annually on Father’s Day weekend and features authentic Appalachian Bluegrass and Folk Music in addition to food vendors, art, and activities for kids.
Visit A Scenic Winery That Uses Integrated Agriculture at Le Petit Chevalier Vineyards and Farm Winery
26328 Locust Grove Rd, Creola, OH
Le Petit Chevalier is a family-owned and operated vineyard and winery that resides on 20 acres. The estate-grown wine is bottled on-site.
You can sample a range of wines ranging from dry to sweet, by the glass or by the flight.
The free picnic library at Le Petit Chevalier Vineyards and Farm Winery helps you create a beautiful picnic with family, friends, or a special date.
You can “check out” colorful picnic tablecloths, decorative pillows, yard and table games, umbrellas, and more.
Guests can use them during their visit and return them for the next guest before you leave.
Le Petit Chevalier Vineyards and Farm Winery is one of the few vineyards in Ohio that uses integrated agriculture. The Southdown sheep help “mow/weed” the seven acres of grape vineyards on the farm.
Be on the lookout for Alexander and Norton, the farm’s Border Collies, who help protect the farm animals who are moved every morning and each night.
They also enjoy greeting the customers and playing tug of war with their toy balls.
The winery is open 6 days a week and offers scenic views year-round.
Admire Incredible Midcentury Glassware at Gad Fad Studies Glass Museum
137 W Main St, Lancaster, OH
Gay Fad Studios was founded by Fran Taylor in 1939 with a personal investment of $30.
The company moved from Michigan to Lancaster, Ohio in 1945.
Pieces were originally hand-painted and later the company changed to screen printing.
The studio closed in 1962 but you can still admire a variety of her glassware artistry on display in the museum.
The retail store is adjacent to the museum and showcases a variety of beautiful glassware available for purchase.
The shop even has designs that were never printed on glass when the company was in operation that you can now purchase.
Take a Scenic Train Ride on the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway
346 Railroad St, Nelsonville, OH
Enjoy scenic Hocking Hills during a train ride on the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway.
Trains depart out of the Nelsonville Depot and there are several train ride experiences to choose from.
Elegant dinner trains, seasonal-themed train rides, Hocking Valley Steam Train, and Ohio’s friendliest train robbery are a few of the train rides to choose from.
Go on the SuperZip at Hocking Hills Canopy Tours
10714 Jackson St, Rockbridge, OH
Daredevils will want to go on the quarter mile “SuperZip” dual zipline. It was even ranked in the “Top Ten Ziplines in the World” by Discovery Channel.
Guests can choose to ride the SuperZip in the seated position or in the superhero position. The superhero position is the obvious choice for daredevils because it’s rarer to experience ziplining in this position face first.
This is a little more scenic than ziplining face-first over Freemont Street in Las Vegas.
The SuperZip can also be combined with a zipline canopy tour, one of the top things to do there, for the best of both worlds.
Hocking Hills Canopy Tours is known for its zipline canopy tours and has been the recipient of many awards.
If you are looking for more unique experiences onsite, consider their Moonshine tour where you zipline in the dark, or their Off Road Segway adventure tour.
If you want to experience more outdoor adventure afterward, you may want to consider High Rock Adventures for rock climbing, rappelling, rock challenges, eco-tours, and nature therapy.
Kayak to Rockbridge With Hocking Hills Adventures
31251 Chieftain Dr, Logan, OH
Slow down and enjoy the natural scenery around you during a kayak ride to Rockbridge.
River access for the kayak and canoe rentals is located directly across from Rockbridge.
If you want to get a closer look at the natural arch it’s a short hike from the shore.
The 7-mile trip is for ages 3 and up and lasts 2-3 hours.
There are also tubing trips available through Hocking Hills Adventures.
Climb Ash Tower Fire Tower
19275 State Route 374, Rockbridge, OH
If you don’t mind heights, you can get your heart pumping while climbing up the stairs of the Ash Tower Fire Tower.
For safety purposes, only 6 people are allowed on the tower at one time.
Once you start climbing the stairs, you’ll understand why. Just make sure that you always have at least one hand on the handrail while going up or going down.
FYI: The very top of the staircase is boarded up if you decide to make the climb. You still get a pretty great view of the surrounding area from the closest staircase platform at the top.
Unique Lodging in Hocking Hills -Stay in a Tiny House from Hocking Hills Tiny Houses
Hocking Hills has plenty of options for luxury cabins but if you want something truly unique, sleep in a tiny house.
“The Gladiola” tiny house can sleep four adults comfortably. There is a loft bed upstairs and the couch converts to a King-sized bed.
The tiny house also has a bathroom and shower and is stocked in anticipation of pretty much anything you would need for an overnight stay.
If you opt for “The Gladiola” tiny house you’ll enjoy scenic views of Lake Logan on private property.
If you visit during the warmer months there are pontoon boat rentals, kayaks, paddle boats, and paddleboard rentals at Lake Logan Marina.
Hocking Hills Tiny Houses has four different tiny houses to choose from. Their newest tiny house, “The Hemlock” is also dog-friendly (under 30 pounds).
Popular Hikes at Hocking Hills
Of course, no visit to the area is complete without visiting some of the most popular hiking trails at Hocking Hills State Park with the diversity of hikes from the upper falls to the lower gorge in a deep valley.
If looking for a longer hike, take the one-way 6-mile Grandma Gatewood Trail to connect to several popular trails in one trip. (Upper Old Man’s Cave Falls, Lower Old Man’s Cave Falls, Rose Lake Falls, Whispering Falls, Hidden Falls, Cedar Falls, Ash Cave)
- Ash Cave (wheelchair accessible)
- Old Man’s Cave
- Cantwell Cliffs (Challenging hike)
- Rock House
- Conkle’s Hollow (Upper/Rim trail and the Lower trail, which is wheelchair accessible)
- Cedar Falls
- Rock Bridge