Among the Trees Lodging’s Safari Treehouse in Hocking Hills (photo courtesy of Among the Trees Lodging)
Travel | Hocking Hills

5 Reasons to Visit the Hocking Hills this Season

From a new state park lodge and great glamping to starry skies and beautiful butterflies, here is your inspiration for planning a getaway in nature.  

Glamping Getaways

The charm of camping and the comforts of a luxury hotel room come together in the Hocking Hills to create a glamping experience for families and adventurers alike. Among the Trees Lodging, located about 17 miles north of popular adventure spots such as Old Man’s Cave, is home to three treehouse stays including the Buckeye Barn Tree House. Overnight guests take a cable bridge from a hilltop to the front door of this treehouse, which is set 20 feet off the ground and has space to sleep up to four. Made of repurposed barnwood, it’s loaded with rustic allure and amenities like a full kitchen. Closer to the ground, Pine Creek Villas’ four recreational vehicles offer guests the chance to experience RV glamping. Live Oak, which sleeps four people, is a cozy camper with a gas fireplace, private deck and view of Pine Creek’s pond. The Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls’ three Pacific-style yurts are a glamper’s dream, featuring a king-size bed, a full bathroom, rocking chairs and Wi-Fi. “If you wanted to check in and not do anything but stay here and relax and eat and get spa treatments here, you can walk to everything,” says assistant general manager Amy Rapposelli. 

Night sky at John Glenn Astronomy Park in the Hocking Hills (photo by Brad Hoehne)

Starry Skies 

Looking up at Ohio’s night sky encouraged astronaut John Glenn to reach for the stars. The John Glenn Astronomy Park, named after the Ohio native and first American to orbit the Earth, is the perfect spot to find that same inspiration. Away from the glow of artificial light, the Hocking Hills State Park locale offers a glimpse of the Milky Way, constellations and planets like Jupiter and Venus. Late spring is what director Brad Hoehne, an amateur astronomer who helped establish the park with Friends of the Hocking Hills, refers to as galaxy season: when it’s possible to see individual galaxy spirals. “There are a lot of beautiful, edge-on galaxies that look like a thin javelin of light in the sky,” he says. These galaxies can be seen through one of the park’s powerful telescopes during weekend programs, while visitors can see our home galaxy, the Milky Way, overhead on moonless nights from July through November. “When the moon is not in the sky, the Milky Way arches kind of like a ghostly cloud overhead,” Hoehne says. “It’s actually quite lovely.” 

Hocking Hills Lodge & Conference Center lobby interior (photo courtesy of Ohio Department of Natural Resources)
Lodge Life

Opened in fall 2022, the Hocking Hills Lodge & Conference Center greets travelers with a sweeping lobby featuring two towering stone fireplaces embedded with fossils. Ohio Department of Natural Resources director Mary Mertz was looking for a specific reaction from lodge visitors. “I wanted people to be able to drive up and say, ‘Wow,’ because that’s what you say when you see Old Man’s Cave and all the spectacular geologic drama in Hocking Hills,” she says. “In front of each fireplace, we have a guide so people can use it and try to find every fossil.” In the lodge’s 81 guest rooms, the headboards on each bed draw inspiration from Hocking Hills’ tree line. Rock House Restaurant and Cafe 22 are great ways to fuel up for adventure, and the Rock House Pub is a cozy spot for a nightcap. The lodge is also the perfect jumping-off point to check out some of the area’s most famous features. “You walk out the back and that puts you right on the Whispering Cave to Old Man’s Cave loop trail,” Mertz says.

Hocking Hills Sauna Pods (photo courtesy of Chalets Hocking Hills)
Wellness Wonders

Hocking Hills’ hikes, activities and fresh air are good for mind and body, but for those who want to double down on wellness, the region has a host of invigorating experiences. Hocking Hills Serenity Salt Cave offers soothing halotherapy, which involves inhaling diffused salt particles meant to improve the respiratory and immune systems. The 18-by-18-foot artificial cave, built from imported Himalayan salt boulders, is bathed in a relaxing red glow and calming music. Then, turn up the heat at Hocking Hills Sauna Pods. The barrel-shaped pods are located at Chalets Hocking Hills, but you don’t need to book an overnight stay to enjoy them. Each of the three pods are perched on the crest of a hill and feature a large window overlooking the surrounding natural beauty. The pods hold four people, and a Bluetooth speaker is ready for the playlist of your choice. “When you’re inside, you feel like you are sitting at the top of the trees kind of looking out over the forest,” says Dannie Devol III, vice president of Chalets Hocking Hills. “It’s a really good thing to do to relax after a hike.”

Beautiful Butterflies 

Humans and nature have more in common than meets the eye, and that’s one of the lessons along the 14-stop Hocking Hills Butterfly Trail. “The draw to this region is the rock formations, caves and the incredible geology,” says Andrea Jones, an Ohio certified volunteer naturalist who helped create the trail. “But that geology has an effect on the plants that grow here and the animals that live here. Those butterflies are a reflection of the health of our region.” Along the trail, which takes about four hours to complete, explorers learn about the regal monarch, the mysterious pipevine swallowtail, the lemon-yellow clouded sulphur and 11 other types of butterflies that call the region home. Each species has its own stop, including at Rockbridge State Nature Preserve and downtown Logan. Where to spot a type of butterfly depends on the food source and habitat it prefers. “The butterflies are picky eaters and they’ve got to find some shelter,” says Jones. The great spangled fritillary highlights this, feeding on violets that grow near the Capital University Primmer Outdoor Learning Center and favoring a garden environment. Download a map and passport (or pick up a printed copy at the Hocking Hills Regional Welcome Center) to visit all 14 trail stops.

When You Go
For more information about these and other destinations throughout the Hocking Hills, visit

John Glenn Astronomy Park

Hocking Hills Lodge & Conference Center

Among the Trees Lodging

Pine Creek Villas

Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls

Hocking Hills Serenity Salt Cave

Hocking Hills Sauna Pods

Hocking Hills Butterfly Trail