Hocking Hills is one of Ohio’s most visited attractions. Rightfully so, with stunning natural landscapes that can’t be found anywhere else in the state. Although most visitors flock to the area during the warmer months for outdoor adventures, Hocking Hills, Ohio in the winter offers visitors a more peaceful getaway. Keep reading for fun Hocking Hills winter activities to enjoy the magic of the frosty season!
Looking for more on Hocking Hills? Read 7 Must-See Hocking Hills, Ohio Locations.
Fun Hocking Hills Winter Activities
Hocking Hills in the winter is magical! From marveling at giant ice formations and snow-covered landscapes to quiet hiking trails to admiring millions of dazzling stars in the sky, there’s plenty Hocking Hills winter activities to keep you busy!
Take A Winter Hocking Hills Hike
Hocking Hills is the most visited state park in Ohio. With miles of trails, stunning natural landscapes to explore like caves, gorges, waterfalls and many other natural formations, taking a winter Hocking Hills hike is the perfect way to become one with nature.
For a winter hike, make sure to bundle up, wear appropriate footwear (water-proof hiking boots), take a small backpack for water, snacks, tissues, camera gear, etc. and be cautious of slippery ice/frozen spots and stay on the marked paths. I personally love hiking in the cold, with the crisp winter air and a thin blanket of snow that seems to make the surrounding nature even more magical!
A few of my favorite places for a winter hike in Hocking Hills are Ash Cave, Old Man’s Cave, Cedar Falls and Rock House. A winter hike is one of my preferred winter activities in Hocking Hills!
There’s nothing better than looking up to a clear sky full of twinkling stars! In Hocking Hills, you will have wide open spaces and less light pollution to enjoy the celestial views. In fact, Hocking Hills has the darkest night sky in Ohio, making for the perfect location for star gazing!
Throw on your winter layers, grab a blanket, make a thermos of hot chocolate or hot cider and enjoy the beauty of nature in the stillness of the night. Be sure to visit the John Glenn Astronomy Park to view the night sky through a large telescope.
Make a Bonfire and Roast S’mores
Throw some logs into a fire pit and create a warm and inviting bonfire. Sitting next to a crackling fire with the cool crisp winter air is a great way to warm up and enjoy the great outdoors. No bonfire is complete without S’mores! Grab some marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate bars to create a delectable fireside snack!
Not too keen on building a fire outdoors in the winter? Snuggle beside an indoor fireplace for a warm and toasty evening.
Enjoy a soak in a hot tub
Enjoy a soak in a hot tub with the cool night air surrounding you. Many cabins in the region have hot tubs for guests to enjoy. Make it extra romantic and grab a bottle of wine or champagne and toast to the winter season!
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Pamper yourself with a Spa Day
Whether a day of pampering for yourself, a girlfriend’s getaway or a couple’s retreat, a spa day is the perfect way to relax and unwind. The Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls offers massage therapy and a full range of spa services to rejuvenate your senses!
Stay in a Yurt or Geodome
Looking for a unique place to stay in Hocking Hills in the winter? The Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls has luxury yurts and geodomes for the ultimate glamping experience. With cozy linens, electricity, heat, a full bathroom and Wi-Fi, these yurts and geodomes make for the perfect Hocking Hills winter getaway!
Eat your way through Hocking Hills
Hocking Hills has become quite the foodie haven. From homemade comfort foods of the region to upscale gourmet dining, foodies will love the up-and-coming food scene! Read more about the food scene, here.
Sip on local wines at Hocking Hills Winery
Since opening its doors in 2015, the Hocking Hills Winery has become the local hotspot. Serving locals and visitors alike with several wine varieties, wine samples, frosty wine slushies (sample both flavors, then mix them together, trust me!) and live weekend entertainment; the winery seems to be the perfect spot to meet locals and sip on delicious Ohio wines!
Sip on craft beers at Brewery 33 Hocking Hills
Brewery 33 is the first brewery in Hocking Hills and serves up a variety of craft beers made on site. Choose from more than a dozen handcrafted beers and two craft sodas on tap. With an outdoor beer garden with a fire pit, food trucks and live music, Brewery 33 welcomes all beer lovers and is child and pet friendly.
Visit the World’s Largest Washboard
The Columbus Washboard Company has been in business since 1895 and resides in a centuries-old brick factory in Logan. As the only washboard manufacturer still in operation in the United States, the company is proud of its heritage with the continual production of hand-crafted washboards.
The exterior of the Columbus Washboard Company boasts the world’s largest washboard, which makes for a fun photo opp. Visitor can take a guided tour of the Columbus Washboard Company, but advance reservations are required.
Pencil Sharpener Museum
A quirky Hocking Hills winter activity is visiting the Pencil Sharpener Museum. Located at the Hocking Hills Regional Welcome Center, this tiny museum houses a collection of more than 3,400 pencil sharpeners and is claimed to be the largest collection in the United States.
Nelsonville is a charming town with historic Star Brick sidewalks which lead you through the quaint Public Square. Lined with historical buildings that are being renovated my local businesses, visitors can feel the revitalization that is occurring in Nelsonville. With the central business district listed on the national Register of Historic Places, locals are proud of their heritage and excited to have visitors explore the newly renovated town square.
Visitors will find locally owned and operated businesses such as FullBrooks Café, Rocky Outdoor Gear, Rhapsody and Stuart’s Opera House along with several up-and-coming shops, brewery and restaurants. Train enthusiasts all of ages will love to take a ride on one of the historic trains along the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway. Outdoor enthusiasts can take advantage of Nelsonville’s prime location nearby Wayne National Forest, the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway and Hocking Hills State Park.
Classes and Workshops
As a lifelong learner, I’m always looking for classes and workshops that will teach me something new. Whether interested in learning a new recipe, making art projects such as stained glass, hand-blown glass or ceramic pottery, or interested in the flora and fauna of the region, there is a class or workshop for you. Check out Hocking College’s leisure learning program for day or series classes.
I had a wonderful time making pottery at the Nelsonville Emporium (unfortunately the Nelsonville Emporium recently closed).
Hocking Hills Shopping
With dozens of local artists and artisans finding inspiration from the natural beauty of the region, visitors will find numerous specialty shops filled with handmade crafts and artwork, flea markets, antique shops and boutique stores to fulfill all your shopping needs!
A visit to Hocking Hills is great any time of the year, but there just seems to be some frosty magic in the air during the wintertime. Whether enjoying a peaceful (and sometimes solitary) hike, pampering yourself with a spa day, sampling delicious Ohio wines or just snuggling with your sweetheart by the fireplace in your cabin, there are plenty of fun Hocking Hills winter activities!
A special thanks to the Hocking Hills Tourism Association! I was an invited guest of the Hocking Hills Tourism Association. As always on Ohio Girl Travels, all opinions are my own!