If you’re looking for a place to spend several days riding without hitting the same attractions twice, Hocking Hills is a great destination!
Hocking Hills State Park in Hocking County, Ohio is a place each trail rider needs to put on his/her bucket list. This scenic forest is known for its large rock formations, waterfalls and caves.
The average amount of riders traveling to Hocking Hills State Park each year is 30,000. Riders come from all over the United States to experience the breathtaking views this park has to offer. In our short three-day stay at Hocking Hills we ran into riders from Wisconsin and Michigan who made the trip.
Some of the attractions you can see while on horseback are: Table Top, Old Man’s Cave, Twin Falls, 21 Horse Cave, Airplane Rock, Indian Head, Conkle’s Hollow, Indian Head, Crystal Falls and Buckskin Canyon.
While trail riding at Hocking Hills State Park we stayed at Pine Creek Horse Camp. I was very pleased with our stay. Each trailer spot comes with two stalls. The bathroom was updated with clean toilets and showers. There were wash racks to hose your horse down after riding, a shop with basic needs and you could access the trails right from camp. The owners were friendly, present and aided with any issues, questions or concerns.
If I’m being really picky, it would have been nice for there to be more garbage access throughout the site. The only place to throw away garbage was in one dumpster close to the bathrooms/wash rack. If you have Verizon, there is NO RECEPTION at the campsite or anywhere close. The campsite does have WiFi but it wasn’t working too well for us. Pine Creek Horse Camp has it listed that they have an on-call veterinarian and farrier for the facility. My horse lost a shoe and after calling and leaving multiple voicemails for the farrier from the campground landline, the farrier never called back or came to put another shoe on. To be fair, these amenities seem like “extras” when it comes to horse camping and trail riding. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the best experience with them.
Green and Purple Trail
The green and purple trails are trails from camp that allow you to access the trails with attractions. These trails don’t have any caves or waterfalls, they’re just merely to get you from camp to the heart of Hocking Hills trails. There was one white trail that split from the purple trail taking you to Crystal Falls.
These trails are suck your horse’s shoes off MUDDY. I can say this because they sucked my horse’s shoe off. After talking to a few regulars they stated that these trails never dry up. You can access the purple trail from the green trail in two places. Going out of camp and to the left is the green trail that is all road riding. Going out of camp from the trail head is the green trail which is extremely muddy but is not road riding. Pick your poison.
The Orange Trail is a long one if you take it from beginning to end, but it has several attractions to see. You’ll pass Conkle’s Hollow, one of the deepest gorges in Ohio, Twin Falls, two falls next to each other, Airplane Rock, an overlook of some of Hocking Hills State Park, and 21 Horse Cave which is called this because supposedly 21 horses can fit inside.
Many parts of this trail are muddy but not nearly as muddy as the Green and Purple Trails. It can also be easy to get lost in areas where the trails split off. From beginning to end this trail is approximately 3.4 miles long, but it’s not a loop so riders have to back track a few miles to then take the purple and green trails home.
Out of all the different trails, these were my favorite. There are two blue trails. Both were dry and had really nice scenery. Some Hocking Hills attractions on these trails were Indian Head, Table Top and Old Man’s Cave.
Indian Head was the only attraction on the one blue trail. This was my least favorite attraction out of all of them so if you only have a short amount of time and want to see attractions, I’d probably push this trail lower on your radar.
On the other hand, the other blue trail is one you MUST ride while in Hocking Hills. This trail takes you past two attractions: Table Top and Old Man’s Cave. Table Top is a rock formation where a large rock sits on top of a skinnier rock. We didn’t get the chance to see Old Man’s Cave because they rerouted the horse trail, but this is definitely an attraction I’ll be going back to see.
I can’t speak much to the Red Trail as we only rode it briefly to get to the Orange Trail, but at the end of the trail is Buckskin Canyon. We heard this canyon is a must see, but unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to do it all. This will be another reason why I’ll go back to Hocking Hills.
Overall, if you’re looking for a getaway where there’s enough trail riding for several days, this is great destination. I’d recommend staying for at least four days. We stayed for three days and it wasn’t nearly long enough to see it all.
Put this place on your bucket list because it’s something every trail rider should experience. Even with the few less-than-savory experiences we had, this destination is totally worth it!
Saddle up and go riding, Horse Nation!