Located on the State Route 644, the Old Man's Cave is one of the most popular hiking trails at the Hocking Hills, Ohio. The hour-long, 1-mile hiking trail at Old Man's Cave is open all year long.
The Old Man's Cave, located in the gorge of Black Hand Sandstone, is a natural formation which is carved by the Salt Creek and the neighbouring melting glaciers.
Story Behind the Name
A hermit named Richard Rowe lived in the large recess cave of the gorge. He, along with his family, moved to the Ohio River Valley in 1796 to establish a trading post.
On one such trip, while searching for a game, he found the Hocking region. As he spent his entire life in this region, he was buried in underneath the recess cave.
Main Sections of the Cave
The Old Man's Cave is divided into 5 main sections - Upper Falls, Upper Gorge, Sphinx Head, Lower Falls and Lower Gorge.
Upper Falls and Upper Gorge
Once you reach the cave, you need to walk through the historic cave's recess to find a stone bridge and the rugged trails lead to the waterfall.
Once you cross the bridge and get to the other side by climbing down a short rock, you will be closer to the waterfall. After you clamber over the relatively larger rocks at the waterfall, you will find yourself walking behind the waterfall.
Further walking through the trail, you will come to the Sphinx Head. The rock formation is a distinct attraction during the trail. If you want to avoid taking the hiking trail, you can also use the stairs that can take you to all the main attractions.
Lower Falls and Lower Gorge
Keep walking ahead from the Sphinx Head spot to reach Lower Falls.
It's a peaceful spot where you can relax for a while watching the beautiful waterfall. Swimming and wading are prohibited at the lower falls.
Lower Falls is the last leg of the hiking trail at the Hocking Hills. If you want to further venture into hiking other trails, you can hike two miles south along the Grandma Gatewood trail to reach Cedar falls.