Posted in Hiking, Park review, Southeastern Ohio

Hocking Hills State Park: Cantwell Cliffs

Cantwell Cliffs is located in the Hocking Hills State Park off of SR 374. Amenities include a parking lot, somewhat primitive rest facilities and two picnic shelter areas.

From the parking lot a trail leads down a series of earthen steps to a cliff edge. To the left steps descend through a narrow staircase carved into the rock. To the right a trail continues along the cliff rim. Choose either direction as the trail is a large scenic loop.

This is the narrow stairway leading down.

Same stars as seen from the bottom

To the right, the trail follows the cliff rim, crossing over a small bridge at the top of a waterfall. Eventually it descends via a series of switchbacks to the base of the cliff near the waterfall.

Once at the waterfall, a trail leads along the cliff offering several points to ascend back to the top. Another trail follows along the creek fed by the waterfall and leads to a recess cave, a large slump block, and the stone stairs returning you to the starting point.

A slump block is a large stone section of the cliff that broke off leaving a small gap. You can walk through this narrow gap which bears the name “Fat Woman’s Squeeze”. From experience I can tell you it’s a squeeze for guys too. 😀 I had to remove my daypack to negotiate it.

The crack in this cliff is creating a “slump block” to the left.
At one point you have to lean to get through the “Fat Woman’s Squeeze”.

Cantwell Cliffs is a very scenic hike but a short one, and can be easily combined with other area hikes in the course of a day’s outing (such as the nearby Clear Creek Metro Park).

Here’s a few photos from other sites along the trail.

Standing on the rim looking down at the little hikers.
Sunbeams reaching into a recess cave.
The sun peaking over a cliff
A random cliff seen from the lower trail
Tree roots growing down the cliff surface.
Our dog considering an alternate stairway up.
Additional Information

  • Directions: At the intersection of US-33 and OH-374, go west on OH-374 for about 6 miles. The driveway for the parking lot will be on your right.
  • GPS Coordinates: 39.539762, -82.5770072
  • Google Maps: View on map or get directions

Although the trail isn’t long, because of the climb up and down it can be strenuous. Many people choose to just go down that initial stairs, come back up, and call it a day.

More on Hocking Hills State Park

© Deborah Platt, Robert Platt and 2012 to 2021

5 thoughts on “Hocking Hills State Park: Cantwell Cliffs

    1. Thank you, Amy-Lynn. As a somewhat overweight, middle-aged woman I was heartened to be able to squeeze through the Fat Woman’s Squeeze, so at least I have that going for me.

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