Hiking on trails and through caves is not the only thing to do in the Hocking Hills. You can zip-line through the trees, canoe, kayak, horseback ride, rent an ATV or a bicycle. We didn’t do any of those things. Maybe next time.
Where we stayed
Inertia* threatened as soon as soon as we checked into the Country Cottage at Sunrise Cabins. We were ready for some R & R. Our cottage was lovely – immaculately clean, private and quiet. It had a comfy queen size bed topped with a beautiful quilt, nice size living area with leather sofa, rocking chair, TV, DVD and CD/radio player. The kitchen had a small table and 2 chairs, full size refrigerator, cooktop, microwave and coffeemaker. No oven but there was a gas grill on the patio. All dishes, cups, glasses, cooking pots and utensils were provided. The bathroom was just right for two with a shower only, towels provided. A spacious hot tub was under roof on the back deck but open in the rear area so we could look out at the stars while soaking. There was also a small table and two chairs on the deck. And we had Wi-Fi, not many locations do. Two nights we heard coyotes howling and yipping nearby. Birds sang in the morning. It was heaven. Can I go back now?
*The tendency of a body at rest to stay at rest. In other words, it was hard to leave our comfy cottage!
Near the Park
I wanted to do some birdwatching and so we decided to check out Lake Logan. It is right outside the city of Logan and on the way to Old Man’s Cave. It’s a really pretty lake, supposed to be good fishing and certain times you can rent boats there or put in your own (10hp limit). We saw several green and blue herons, belted kingfishers, barn swallows, mallard ducks, wood ducks, geese and a couple of egrets. The sunsets there were spectacular!
City of Logan
Residents named the town in honor of Chief Logan of the Mingo Indian tribe. Ohio Governor Thomas Worthington established the community in 1816. The town was built on the money from coal, iron ore and clay. Many huge homes were built during the town’s prosperous periods. You can download a walking tour of the city with descriptions of the style of architecture and original builders/owners of these homes. There are beautiful churches and public buildings. Museums include the Historical Society and Washboard Museum. We took a walking tour of downtown to see some of these landmarks. The Historical Society was closed and we skipped the Washboard Museum on this trip. We do plan to catch both on our next visit.
Like many small towns there are lots of empty storefronts in the downtown area. The economic downturn in Ohio hit small towns like Logan hard. They’ve lost many of the manufacturing jobs that in the past provided a good living for their residents. It has not dampened their civic spirit however and many signs of pride of place are present. There is an especially nice Veteran’s Memorial in the center of town.
Shopping in the “Hills”
We shopped at the Spring Street and Logan Antique malls. Whatever you collect you will find it in one of these. The place was so packed there were even items on display in the ladies restroom!
I purchased some old needlecraft/crochet books and some vintage crocheted potholders. I also bought a box of rocks. Now don’t laugh – this was a box of beautiful Ohio flint, including one fist-size piece that has a vein of crystals running through it. I collect rocks wherever I go, purchasing local specimens if I can’t go collecting. I didn’t have any Ohio flint in my collection and now I have a lifetime supply!
There are craft malls scattered throughout the hills but the only one we visited was the Wind Chime Shop. This was a charming place, all tinkly and shiny. A friend of ours stayed at Wind Chime Cabin on his visit and he said it was very nice.
You can buy your souvenirs at the Old Man’s Cave gift shop, Old Man’s Cave Grocery, Grandma Faye’s Grocery and even Walmart. Magnets are my favorite souvenir and I purchased one to add to my refrigerator gallery.
Where we ate
We didn’t eat out every meal. Breakfast was at the cottage and we took picnic lunches into the park. We purchased our cottage food provisions at Walmart and Kroger in Logan. When we did eat out we went to Pizza Crossing, Millstone BBQ and Bush’s. Pizza Crossing was great, medium crust, sweet sauce and generous toppings. Millstone BBQ was just OK, my husband liked his brisket but the pulled pork I got was icky, too greasy and fatty. Bush’s was a local place with the typical home cooking menu plus pizza and they had good pie! We had blueberry and coconut cream. We also had a couple of decadent desserts at Diner D,Argento one mid-afternoon – tiramisu cake and chocolate pecan pie – yum, yum!but did not have a meal there.
Planning YOUR visit
Be sure to download or request a copy of the Hocking Hills Visitors Guide. There you will find listing for dining and activities. If the Sunrise Cabins don’t meet your needs, the 1800Hocking web site has a cabin finder to help you narrow down your choices based on size of your party and desired amenities. That’s how I found Sunrise Log Cabins.
Hocking Hills is an area where you can do a lot in a little time if you wish. Most of the main attractions are only 1/4 to 1/2 mile from parking areas. I know people who have hiked all the major attractions in one day. There are also longer and more challenging trails and lot of other fun activities to fill your time. Others (like us) spend a few days, see a few things and hang out in their cabin hot tubs. Before you go, you should review the Visitor’s Guide and make a list of what you want to do, from “must see” to “maybe do” otherwise it can be quite overwhelming trying to cram everything into the time you have. In our case, we knew we didn’t want to drive ourselves to exhaustion every day so we took it easy. Two easy/moderate hikes per day, over two days for us, were plenty with city days and shopping on the other days.
I highly recommend the Hocking Hills for your Ohio vacation. There is plenty for kids to do, easy trails they can handle, and more challenging activities and trails for older kids and adventurous adults. Choose your cabin/cottage, heed the warnings about staying off cliff edges and staying on the trails and you’ll have a safe, happy holiday in the hills!