Each season in Hocking Hills has its own special allure: in winter, snow covers the ground, giving new form to the recess caves, and cold temperatures freeze the waterfalls throughout the state parks; spring brings wildflower displays that rival those anywhere else in the world; summer, with its myriad outdoor festivals and activities, is prime family vacation time; and fall is all about the foliage. Here are the top reasons to visit Hocking Hills in autumn.
If you’ve never seen the fall colors in Ohio, put a trip on your bucket list for this year. In autumn, more than 10,000 acres of rolling hills and forests are covered with vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows, creating a beauty that is impossible to describe in words. The colors start to appear in late September and then reach their full glory around mid-October. You can experience the fall colors in many ways, including self-guided driving tours, fall foliage train rides (and wine tours for adults) on Hocking Valley Scenic Railway, guided hikes through Hocking Hills State Park, canoe and kayak trips on Hocking River, zipline canopy tours, ATV tours, and even horse-drawn carriage rides through Lake Hope State Park.
Harvest time calls for celebration across the country, and harvest festivals abound in Hocking Hills. In September and October, the area hosts festivals dedicated to everything from apples and pumpkins to the pawpaw, a mango-like fruit native to the northern and eastern parts of North America. The fall calendar also features plenty of county fairs and arts and crafts shows to fill your weekends.
Hocking Hills has long been suspected of being haunted, and for Halloween all of the area’s ghosts put in an appearance. October has many spooky (and not-so-spooky) activities for kids of all ages, from the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway’s Boo Train to cemetery tours in Logan, to haunted tours through Ash Cave in Hocking Hills State Park.
In addition to these special events, fall is a great time to participate in many of the year-round activities in Hocking Hills. It may be too cold to swim or lie on the beach, but you can still hike, have a picnic, look for local flora and fauna, enjoy the local food and art scenes, and explore the historic towns and landmarks. What better way to wave goodbye to summer.
Fall, and especially the peak foliage weeks, is a popular time to visit Hocking Hills, so make your tour reservations and book your accommodations early.