More than 10,000 acres of unbroken forest in Ohio's Hocking Hills region -- dotted with outdoor adventures and wildly unusual lodging options -- offers panoramic views of some of the nation's best fall foliage. Thanks to the ideal concoction of fiery red Maples, blazes of orange Sassafras, flashes of yellow Hickory, brushstrokes of brown Oak and pops green Hemlock and Pine, the Hocking Hills also offer travelers some of the country's most diverse accommodations, though travelers encouraged to book lodging quickly via ExploreHockingHills.com, as lodging fills up quickly in fall; the area's high season.
The all-new Hocking Hills Sandbox lets travelers check out the beauty from the seat of real, full-size construction equipment as they drive a bulldozer, maneuver a track loader or manhandle an excavator. They can also enjoy sky-high views of the foliage from the bucket of the Sandbox’s 60-foot high lift.
Dubbed the "Canopy Tour Capital of the Midwest," multiple world-class zipline operators offer dozens of tours, such as Soaring Cliffs Canopy Tours, a Super Zip and an XTreme canopy tour that takes travelers right through a waterfall and into a cave for a truly unusual birds-eye view of the season's splendor. Meanwhile, an off-road Segway tour gives visitors a more ground-hugging tour.
High Rock Adventures takes visitors on guided eco tours and heart-pounding rappelling trips, giving adventure-seekers a ringside seat for what may be the most beautiful color show on earth. In addition, kayaking, horseback riding, ATV and other guided and self-led hikes and adventures let Hocking Hills visitors really immerse themselves in autumn's beauty.
Quirky Lodging Abounds
From cozy cottages, historic B&Bs and charming inns, to fully-equipped cabins and lodges that sleep more than two dozen, many offer a fully loaded gourmet kitchen, perfect for huge groups. Most are outfitted with deluxe amenities, such as a pool table, foosball, gas grill or telescope for viewing fall color and local wildlife or for stargazing under the regions dark skies. Many feature a large hot tub, offering the perfect way to experience Hocking Hills' magnificent star-filled skies. (The lack of city lights means that the region's night sky is nothing short of dazzling.)
Located 40 miles southeast of Columbus, Ohio's Hocking Hills region offers once-in-a-lifetime experiences that make every day feel like Saturday, with plenty of free activities. Unique gift and antique shops, artists' studios and hands-on activities add to the allure of the Hocking Hills as the perfect place to unplug. Complete traveler information is available www.ExploreHockingHills.com or 1-800-Hocking (800-462-5464).