Rock House In Hocking Hills Ohio
Adventures in the Midwest,  Ohio,  Travel,  Weekend Trips

7 Tips For Hiking The Rock House In Hocking Hills

The Rock House is one of the most unique hikes in Hocking Hills, Ohio. A tunnel-like cave in the cliffside lures hikers inside by offering incredible views out of its natural rocky windows.

As one of the Top Ten Hikes In Hocking Hills, the Rock House is a favorite as the trail is roughly a mile long. However, don’t be deceived. The trail packs a punch with plenty of rocky steps, steep drop-offs, and uneven surfaces, so watch your step.

Before gearing up to venture inside Hocking Hills only cave, here are a few tips to make the most of your visit to the Rock House.

scenic view of rock house in hocking hills

There are Two Trails: Both Are One Way

The Rock House Trails are currently one-way trails. This means that guests will begin their hike at the trailhead and exit in another location going in a single direction. Many tight squeezes and rocky stairs can make two-way traffic dangerous or cause long delays while waiting for other hikers to pass.

Depending on if you take the Rockhouse Rim Trail or the Rockhouse Gorge Trail, the length of the hike can vary from 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Entrance Rock House In Hocking Hills Ohio

Come Prepared: Bring A Flash Light

Hiking often requires a little preparation to ensure that everyone has a good time while staying safe. The Rock House Trail has plenty of uneven surfaces, tree roots, and rocky surfaces, so make sure you are in proper footwear. You will likely blow a flip-flop out in this hike.

Once inside the Rock House, there is very little light; therefore, bring a flashlight or use the flashlight on your cell phone. I witnessed several falls as there the rocks have gaps between them, along with being at different elevations.

Rock House In Hocking Hills Ohio

Pigeons Are Living In The Rock House In Hocking Hills

Hear a rustling inside the cave? That is because the Rock House is home to not only bats but a family of pigeons. You can see them flying above and roosting in the rocky corners. Be careful because as they fly around, they may leave an unwelcome gift on a few shoulders.

Rock House In Hocking Hills Ohio

Spray with Bug Spray and Bring Water

Bug spray and water may seem like standard procedures for many; however, some may opt to forego these basic rules since it is a short hike. The trail is well shaded and will dip into a ravine with a creek—a perfect breeding ground for mosquitos.

The Rock House Trail is breathtaking, with scenic overlooks, rock formations, and a cave. Prepare to spend extra time capturing that frame-worthy photo while taking in the natural beauty of your surroundings. The trek back to the parking lot is all uphill, so that water would come in handy, especially on warmer days.

Hiking in Hocking Hills

The Trailhead and Trail Exit May Be In Two Different Parking Areas

After entering the parking area, there are two lots that hikers can park in. The first lot is going to be the parking lot the trail exits into by the shelter. The trailhead to the Rock House Rim Trail is found in this lot as well.

Venture up the hill to the second “upper” parking lot, where you will find the trailhead to the Rock House Gorge Trail. A small trail connects the two parking lots, so visitors don’t have to trek up a hill on the road.

Trailhead of Rock House

Tip: I recommend parking in the first lot near the shelter. The end of the Rock House Gorge Trail is all uphill, which can be exhausting. As the trail exits into the parking lot, you will wish your car was in that lot and not the one near the trailhead!

Steep Drop Offs At The Rock House In Hocking Hills

The trail contains many steep drop-offs and tall rocky steps, making this unsuitable for most small children. I would recommend placing smaller children in a carrier while assisting older children down rocky steps and terrains. The Rock House is a neat spot but ensure to keep a close eye on children so that they don’t fall. If you are looking for a great hiking spot for younger children, try Conkle’s Hollow and Ash Cave.

Rocky Steps along the Rock House  Trail In Hocking Hills Ohio

Pack A Picnic

The Rock House has a picnic shelter that makes the ideal spot to grab lunch. Another great reason to park in the first parking area! A restroom is near the shelter as well.

Gothic Windows

History of the Rock House in Hocking Hills

The Rock House in Hocking Hills has a fascinating history. Dating back hundreds of years ago, the small recess in the cave’s rear wall once served as baking ovens for Native Americans. Others claim the Rock House was known as “Robbers Roost” because it served as a hideout for bandits, criminals, and bootleggers.

In 1835, Colonel F.F. Rempel of Logan built a 16-room hotel complete with a ballroom, livery stable, and a U.S. Post Office where the picnic shelter stands today.

Rock House In Hocking Hills Ohio

Map Of Rock House Trails

Map of Rock House Trails In Hocking Hills
Map Courtesy of TheHockingHills.com

Other Fun Things To Do In Hocking Hills

Inside the Rock House In Hocking Hills Ohio

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The Rock House In Hocking Hills

The Rock House In Hocking Hills Ohio

We are an inquisitive family seeking to discover, create and inspire unique adventures and experiences. Our mission is to motivate families to collect moments and not things. Our family travel blog explores places off the beaten path that will spark your curiosity and provide inspiration for families traveling with children. We are not full-time travelers, just the everyday family that makes the most of each day off. When we are not traveling we enjoy being a tourist in our hometown of Cincinnati.