Hocking Hills State Park remains closed until new safety and distancing protocols are finalized. However, the region offers a number of other hiking areas that remain open, such as Lake Logan and Lake Hope State Parks. In addition, a multitude of other unforgettable experiences maintain distance between guests and staff. Rappelling and climbing, guided hikes, canopy tours, off-road Segway woodland and waterfall tours, kayaking, canoeing and horseback riding have already opened or are expected to open by the end of May. Local restaurants opened for outdoor dining May 15 and will offer inside dining beginning May 22. Hocking Hills Winery, Brewery 33 are open and offering tastings and outdoor seating with live music. (Inside seating opens May 22.) Hocking Hills Moonshine distillery is open for tours, tasting and retail sales. Homegrown on Main, antique and gift shops and local artist studios offer memorable treasure hunting. At just-opened Jack Pine Studio, visitors can watch as gifted artisans blow fine art glass and shop for pieces to take home.
All cabin, restaurant and local business operators and staff, as well as guests, are required to abide by strict health and safety protocols with guest and local resident wellbeing remaining top of mind. In order to avoid taxing local resources, guests are asked to bring their own groceries from home or to support the area’s many local restaurants which also offer carryout.
“So many of us are eagerly awaiting an opportunity to travel safely and unplug from all the negative noise and suffocating monotony that’s bombarded us for two months,” said Explore Hocking Hills Executive Director Karen Raymore. “In the Hocking Hills, the only noise you hear is the joyful sound of nature. But our initial experiences need to be safe and allow us to travel not far from home and socially distance.”
Raymore added that her team and partners are hyper sensitive to traveler uncertainty. Thus, all area businesses are working very closely with local health officials to ensure everyone’s safety as they return to the Hocking Hills. Frequent deep cleaning, the use of masks and sanitizer by hosts and guests and contact-free check-ins that employ lock boxes offer added security for both visitors and local residents.
Located 40 miles southeast of Columbus, Ohio’s Hocking Hills offers affordable lodging, from camping, cabins and cottages to hotels and inns. Miles of hiking trails, parks and forests; ziplines and guide services; and many more once-in-a-lifetime experiences join unique gift and antique shops, canoeing, horseback riding, golf, spas and more add to the allure of the Hocking Hills as the perfect place to unplug. Complete traveler information is available ExploreHockingHills.com or 1-800-Hocking (800-462-5464).