Hidden among the hills and gorges is the handicap and family friendly Ash Cave Trail in Hocking Hills State Park. This wonderful and beautiful trail is located right off of Route 56 in the Hocking Hills region. Parking is ample and easy to find. You can find parking where the trail head starts or across the street in a large parking lot. In the parking area across the street you can find clean and very nice pit bathrooms (by pit toilet standards) and a very nice picnic shelter with picnic tables scattered throughout. We love to come to this picnic shelter for a cookout in the fireplace with hot dogs and s’mores before our hike. If you want to make fun memories as a family, this is something you should try. It is memorable.
The trail head is easy to find and the whole path to Ash Cave is paved. The hike is a short 0.5 miles to the cave and waterfall. Key things to note is finding the Ash Cave sign and the information board, these are your visual markers to where the trail begins.
As you come into the gorge you are transported into the lush beauty of the trail. Trekking further into the Ash Cave area you see high cliffs, flora and fauna and green moss clinging onto the rocks and trees. We are able to chat and share things with each other on this trail as we hiked along because it is so easy.
As you enter into the cave the paved area ends, so if you are in a wheel chair or using a stroller you will need to stop there to admire the beauty. The trail at this point turns into a sandy path as you walk through the cave. Being inside this area is awe inspiring, the sounds of water falling and the soft quiet of the cave cause you to pause and enjoy nature.
After you are finished enjoying the cave you can take the paved path back to the trail head OR you can take a trail up through the Hemlocks back to the parking area. We have done both options and if you are able I highly encourage you to take the trail through the trees. It is dirt, has roots that can trip you up and is moderately difficult. We enjoyed it, it is worth the work.
We highly recommend this area in Hocking Hills and would encourage you to add it to your itinerary. It is a short hike with beauty that should not be missed. You can do this area in an hour or less.
We are so thankful that Hocking Hills State Park has made this area so accessible and we applaud them for it!
Thing to know:
dog friendly, paved trail, handicap accessible, family friendly, ample parking