Hocking Hills Sandbox just opened to rave reviews in southeast Ohio’s popular Hocking Hills tourism region. The Sandbox allows travelers to operate professional-grade construction equipment, including track loaders, a bulldozer and excavators.
In addition, a real cherry picker lifts visitors 60 feet in the air for a birds-eye view of the 15-acre facility.
Located at 16412 Thompson Ridge Rd., Laurelville, OH 14135, Hocking Hills Sandbox is one of only six such attractions in the U.S.
Once outside, visitors watch a live demonstration and are given a hands-on introduction to the course and each truck’s controls. They’re then invited to climb aboard these massive machines, while guided by a trained instructor with a remote kill switch. Each piece of full-size construction equipment has its own lane, games and challenges, including:
The Excavator: Visitors start by digging a massive hole and piling the earth into a mound, then driving over the hill they’ve created. They can also disassemble, move and reassemble a series of eight railroad ties stacked in a crisscross pattern, much like a giant game of Jenga. Finally, excavator drivers can try to “thread the needle,” by dropping a huge semi tire over a 9-foot pole or pick up basketballs and try to make a bucket.
The Bulldozer: While on the bulldozer, guests get to dig a massive pit, then crawl out over pile they created before completing an agility-testing obstacle course. The highlight is ramming into the junked minivan, pushing it around the course for a hands-on demonstration of the power of these machines.
The Track Loader: Guests head through a challenging obstacle course of cones and stanchions, then can try picking up a 12-foot log and moving it along the course without knocking over a series of barricades. A giant pile of ground asphalt is ideal for digging and moving around, while stacking log chunks test the operator’s skill and balance.
The Cherry Picker: The cherry picker offers great views and a fun backdrop for selfies as it hoists visitors 50-60 feet above Hocking Hills Sandbox.
Located 40 miles southeast of Columbus, Ohio's Hocking Hills offer once-in-a-lifetime experiences that make every day feel like Saturday, with plenty of free activities. The region boasts a wide variety of affordable lodging, from camping, cabins and cottages to hotels and inns. In addition to hiking trails, parks and forests, the Hocking Hills is the Canopy Tour Capital of the Midwest, with more than 50 ziplines offered via three distinct guide services. 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, including lodging, is available at www.ExploreHockingHills.com or 1-800-Hocking (800-462-5464).