If your furry friend is in the mood for an adventure, make your way over to Grandma Gatewood Trail. This furrific trail is named after Emmas Rowena Gatewood, one of Ohio’s most famous hikers. Just like your pooch, Grandman Gatewood loved hiking. In fact, she was the first woman to thru hike the Appalachian Trail alone.
The Grandma Gatewood Trail connects three of the five parks that make up Hocking Hills State Park. The trail starts at Upper Falls of the Old Man’s Cave Park. After admiring the waterfall, hike past Devil’s Bathtub. Legend has it that this pool of churning water leads to the underworld, so don’t get too close! Next comes the Lower Falls, and then you finally get to the actual Old Man’s Cave. Back in the 1700s, this sandstone cave was home to a local hermit.
From here, the trail wanders through Queer Creek gorge to the next park, Cedar Falls. Some say this is the most stunning part of all of Hocking Hills. The waterfalls, crooked hemlocks, cliffs, and mystical grottos will thrill your doggo to the core. To continue the trail to the Ash Cave Park, head up to the Cedar Falls parking lot and follow the Forest Service Road for about a mile until the Ash Cave Trail comes into view. Hike through the hemlock forest until you reach the massive Ash Cave. Your pooch will love sniffing around this humongous cavern. If you want to loop back to the Old Man’s Cave parking lot, hop on the George Overlook Trail. Otherwise, arrange for a pick up at the Ash Cave parking lot.
Restrooms and drinking water can be found in the Old Man’s
Cave Visitors Center. While the trails stay open until dark, the Visitors
Center is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11:00
a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. Don’t forget to bring plenty of water and clean up
bags. This trail will definitely make your pup’s tail wag!