Hocking Hills, OH
Happy Belated Mother’s Day! Today I’m happy to share a lovely hike that I got to do with my Mom in Hocking Hills! One of the best things about this area is that you can see some amazing sights on a relatively short hike! My family tackled the roughly 2.5 miles Rim Trail at Conkles Hollow Nature Preserve on a beautiful sunny morning. This is a great hike for the whole family and is a really good loop for non-hikers. There’s also a shorter gorge trail that’s wheelchair and stroller friendly so this really is a place for everyone. Let’s check it out!
THE HIKE: East and West Rim Loop – Conkles Hollow Nature Preserve
Length: 2.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 427ft
Time: 1.5-2 hours
Trail use: Hiking Only, NO PETS
Parking: Large parking lots. Vault Toilets
Conkle’s Hollow is a small Nature Preserve located within Hocking Hills State Park. It is a rocky gorge that’s considered to be one of the deepest in Ohio! As you travel along the rim trail, you’ll be walking along cliff edges that raise 200ft up! The gorge itself is fairly narrow so you can even see hikers on the other side of the rim! This area is very unique because the towering cliffs mean that little to no sunlight reaches the bottom of the gorge.
A local legend of Conkle’s Hollow insists that robbers had hid their loot somewhere in the hollow but were never able to retrieve it due to a felled tree. Who knows if the tale is true, but if I needed a place to hide out, one of the caves in this area would definitely work for me!
When hiking at Conkle’s Hollow, try to arrive early if going on the weekend. Although there is a large parking lot (with vault toilets), it’s extremely popular so it will fill up! We arrived around 10am on a beautiful Saturday and easily found parking. However, we finished up, the lot was completely packed and people were parking along the street.
Now I said that Conkle’s Hollow is great for non-hikers. However, I want to clarify that you need to be reasonably steady on your feet and able to climb steps to do this hike. The first bit of the trail follows some steep steps and then continues uphill for a bit so be prepared to get your heart pumping! Most of this trail does follow along a cliff edge so you’ll see plenty of warning signs. Make sure to stay away from the edge and be smart about your hiking! It’s only dangerous if you’re not respecting the trail. Plus, the trail is one-way so you don’t have to worry about stepping to the side to let other hikers pass.
I honestly can’t say enough good things about this trail! Although it was only 2.5 miles, we spent hours here because we constantly had to stop and take in the beauty! There were so many incredible rock formations and small waterfalls. Plus we were nearing peak wildflower season so I always wanted to stop and look at every plant. Most of the crowds seem to only do the shorter gorge trail so we thankfully had a lot of the rim trail to ourselves. You can always add in the Gorge trail before or after your hike to get the full experience!
My family had an awesome time on this hike! I would definitely do this again and I thought it was a perfect hike for people who want to experience Hocking Hills without doing a long, strenuous hike. If you’re looking for other short hikes in the area, check out Cantwell Cliffs (1 mile) or Rock House (0.8 mile).
THE BEER: Double Edge Brewing Company
Address: 158 W Chestnut St, Lancaster, OH 43130
Distance from Trail Head: 24 miles, 31 mins
Food?: BYOF/ Food Trucks
Details: Outdoor seating & dog friendly
Double Edge Brewing Company is located about 15 miles outside of the Hocking Hills area in the super cute town of Lancaster. It’s a bit of a drive from the trailhead but definitely worth it! The first thing that struck me about this little brewery was the community! People were all talking to each other, clearly making friends with neighbors at the next table. How lovely!
Double Edge has been a staple of downtown Lancaster since 2017. Their taproom is pretty big with a nice relaxed vibe. There’s also plenty of outdoor seating if you’d rather soak up the sun! Their taproom offers a wide variety of house made beers as well as local wine and cider. Check their events for food trucks on the weekend and live music!
My favorite beer of the day might surprise you. It was actually the Aunt Sally Key Lime Sour! I really love a good sour, especially after being outside all day. This one really hit the spot and I liked that it kept the ABV low. This is definitely a great beer for some afternoon drinking! Good beer and a good spot; we’ll definitely be back someday!
- Seven Seas – West Coast IPA – 6.1%
- Moondog – Porter – 5.7%
- Comet Session – Session IPA – 5.2%
- Aunt Sally – Key Lime Pie Sour – 3.6%
SUM UP: Conkles Hollow is a beautiful nature preserve near Hocking Hills, Ohio. The 2.5 miles Rim trail is a great trek for all ages but has some elevation and steps that wouldn’t be good for very young or unsteady folks. It’s just challenging enough to feel proud of yourself at the end and rewards you with gorgeous views along the way. After your hike explore more of the Hocking Hills Region, like Rock House or Cantwell Cliffs. Finally, round out your day with a cold brew at Double Edge Brewing in Lancaster. You’ll be sure to make a new friend at this inviting neighborhood brewery!