Posted in Hiking, Park review, Southeastern Ohio

Hocking Hills State Park: Ash Cave

Ash Cave is another popular attraction in Hocking Hills State Park.  It is accessible by car on SR 56, a short drive from Old Man’s Cave and Cedar Falls.

Looking out of Ash Cave. Note the people to the right of the bolder.

Ash Cave is Ohio’s largest recess cavern.  It is at the end of a roughly U-shaped valley surrounded by cliff walls.  High above the recess cave a waterfall spills into a stream that traverses the valley floor.

There is a small parking area at the entrance to the short trail that leads to Ash Cave.  Additional parking is just across the street. Amenities include rest facilities and picnic tables.

Ash Cave is easily accessible via a relatively flat path from the parking area.  For hikers, a set of wooden stairs to the right of the cave lead up to the top of the cliff to a familiar blue blazed trail that is part of the buckeye trail.  The trail follows the creek that feeds to Ash Cave waterfall for 3 miles to Cedar Falls.

Viewing Ash Cave from the rim of the upper trail.
Midway between the rim and Ash Cave’s floor.

In the winter time, the falls often produces enormous icicles above the cave mouth, and an ice formation at the base of the cave that resembles an upside down snow cone. The ice in the snow cone frequently exhibits a bluish cast.

A drizzling waterfall formed the snow cone at the base of Ash Cave.

The annual Hocking Winter Hike ends at Ash Cave.

Winter hikers relaxing around a campfire at Ash Cave
Deb at the conclusion of one of the winter hikes.

As you leave the recess cave and head toward the parking lot, there are some interesting cliffs on the way out.

This photographer is trying to get closer to his subject.
Additional Information

  • Directions: Ash Cave is off of OH-56, just west of the intersection of OH-374 and OH-56
  • GPS Coordinates: 39.395612, -82.5451538
  • Google Maps: View on map or get directions

More on Hocking Hills State Park

© Deborah Platt, Robert Platt and 2012 to 2021

11 thoughts on “Hocking Hills State Park: Ash Cave

    1. Thanks, Sheila. I was reviewing our photos of Ash Cave from both summer and winter. During the summer the overhanging ledge produces such a dark shadow, it’s difficult to see the cliff details. But during winter the light that bounces off the giant snow cone actually illuminates the cliff under the ledge. So I decided to go with the winter shots. 🙂

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