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Conkle's Hollow offers fall at its finest in Ohio's Hocking Hills State Park

Hocking Hills State Park in its fall finest
Hocking Hills State Park in its fall finest
Angela Thompson

Conkle's Hollow, located in the heart of Hocking Hills on Big Pine Road off S.R. 374 near Logan is a considered one of the most rugged, deepest gorges in all of Ohio. The gorge is quite reminiscent of one visible in the SmokeyMountains or more southern foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. The cliffs of Conkle’s Hollow range some 200 feet over the gorge's mouth. While the gorge offers some of the best scenic viewing of the region, it also sports some of the most difficult hiking of the well beaten paths of the Hocking Hills.

Nearly 350 million years ago, the Hocking Hills region was under ocean water. The region formed over millions of years, at the hand of erosion and environmental changes within the outline of Black Hand sandstone to form the extraordinary forms still visible today. In 1925, Ohiopurchased Conkle’s Hollow to preserve this historical land. Conkle's Hollow became a state nature preserve in 1977.

Conkle’s Hollow took its name from W.J. Conkle. This early Ohioan carved his name in the gorge sandstone on the western wall of the Conkle Hollow gorge in 1797. Today, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources owns and operates Conkle’s Hollow and its adjacent trails. The trail to the rim of Conkle’s Hollow is a rugged trail, not suitable for small children or pets. Be sure to plan the trip accordingly should the party wish to view Conkle's Hollow. If visitors are able to ascend the gorge to the rim, it truly signifies some of the most spectacular scenery that Eastern Ohiohas to offer—especially in the fall when the Midwestcolors are at their finest.

Tips for a Hike in Conkle's Hollow:

  • Heed the signs. Some of the trails near Conkle's Hollow are not pet friendly--nor young child friendly. The rim trail especially borders the gorge edge--with slipery aread, jagged stone and no guard railing.
  • Wear sturdy hiking shoes and dress for the weather. The Hocking Hills experience the typical temperatures of the Midwest--along with even colder temperatures in low lying portions of the region. Be sure to pack along gloves, hiking boots--and proper outer wear to remain comfortable during your hike.
  • Bring along water bottles and snacks--and visit the restrooms before embarking on your hike. The rim trail is a circular loop of 3.5 miles--so plan ahead according to the weather and the time of day for water and mid morning or mid afternoon snacks!

For More Information and Details on Conkle's Hollow and Hocking Hills:

Conkle's Hollow State Nature Preserve
Hocking Hills Travel and Tourism
5 Free Family Activities in Hocking Hills

Have a story or idea to share about an Ohio State Park visit? Email Angela! She cannot wait to hear about your experiences in the Ohio outdoors! If you have discovered something amazing in a park or nature preserve that you would like to see featured in an upcoming article, let her know! The Ohio State Park Examiner pages are all about sharing a love of all that Ohio has to offer.

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