Does Hocking Hills Have a Waterfall? Cedar Falls Hike
Well of course Hocking Hills has a waterfall. It actually has quite a few. We’re looking forward to sharing with you Cedar Falls trail and some of the other places in Hocking Hills where you can see gravity, water, and black hand sandstone create beautiful places. Let’s Get Started!
To watch the video version of this blog watch our video: "Does Hocking Hills Have a Waterfall?"
Let’s first talk about the location of Cedar Falls and later we will discuss the hike’s details.
Where is Cedar Falls in Hocking Hills?
Cedar Falls is located in Hocking Hills State Park off of road 374. There are actually three parking areas that gain easy access to the Falls. There is a small place to park right on 374 with less than 10 parking spots. But, there is a larger parking lot just off 374 as you head to the trailhead. For us the third spot, the trailhead parking, was the best. There is a map there and good bathrooms with flush toilets. But most importantly the trail is one-way and the start of the trail is here. The trailhead parking has about 15 spots and the larger parking lot where the trail finishes has about 50. So there isn’t a lot of space here.
Would you like to hear a little history about Cedar Falls? Cedar Falls was part of a commercial enterprise in the 1800s. We’ll share that next and let you know later whether you can enter the water.
There is a little-known history around Cedar Falls. Funny to us is that the early settlers named the falls incorrectly. They called the Falls after all of the Cedar trees that surrounded the area. But what they thought were Cedars are actually the hemlocks we can see today. That isn’t all. Did you know the falls are strong enough to power a grist mill that used to grind grain and the mill was situated at the top of the falls in the 1800s? Cedar Falls is the most powerful and most reliable falls in the region.
Let’s discuss other waterfalls in the area and then we’ll get back into what to expect during your hike.
Cedar Falls is one of the Top 6 Hikes in the Hocking Hills area. Other hikes include Conkle’s Hollow, Old Man’s Cave, Ash Cave, Cantrell Cliffs, and Rock House. Of these, lesser waterfalls can be found at Old Man’s Cave, Ash Cave, and Conkle’s Hollow. These are the best hikes most people will visit on their first trip to Hocking Hills and we have posts on those below.
Let us know with a comment if you seek out hikes to waterfalls. What is your favorite waterfall hike?
Is Cedar Falls an Easy Hike?
The trail is a ½ mile loop that starts at the trailhead parking area and ends at the larger parking lot. Hikers can use the road to walk between parking areas at the start or finish of their hike. The hike is a quick easy hike, like many in Hocking Hills. If you can climb stairs and generally walk a mile you will have a great time visiting Cedar Falls. We actually have something about the stairs later. But, if you have balance issues or want a little more stability on the trail, trekking poles can help. Also, if you want to pack a lunch or just have a couple of items like a first aid kit, snacks, and water, a backpack is a great idea. The pack will allow you to use your hands freely and keep your weight balanced. Plan on spending at least a half hour to hike the trail and enjoy viewing Cedar Falls and the pool of water and black hand sandstone.
Every hike needs a dad joke. How do waterfalls communicate with each other?
They "stream" messages back and forth! If you are looking for a great gift for dad or for your kids dad joke books make great gifts.
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Now back to the Cedar Falls experience and an important question.
Are dogs allowed in Hocking Hills?
Yes but, some trails dogs are prohibited and other trails we wouldn’t recommend bringing dogs.
Dogs are welcome on the Cedar Falls trail with good behavior and a six foot leash and this is one of the better trails for dogs. The footing is generally soft for the animals and provide a pleasant experience for your pets. The trail is also wide to allow space between you and others on the trail. The steps are spaced out well with decent height so each step isn’t too high for medium sized dogs and larger. So if your dog can climb the stairs in your house or apartment these steps should be easy for them. Bring dog waste bags and carry out their waste.
Can I swim in Hocking Hills and Cedar Falls?
Can I swim in Cedar Falls or wade into the water at Cedar Falls? Ohio State Parks prohibit you from entering the water. Although you can see people doing it in this video. The Park’s intent is to protect the wildlife and allow fish and other aquatic species to go about their way without being disrupted. But, the law is there to protect humans, too. The waterfalls can also rain debris onto people like falling rocks, and wood. Additionally the rocks in the water are slip and trip hazards that can cause injury. And who really wants to get bit by a snapping turtle or snake. So, save the fish some stress and anxiety and stay out of the water for their sake.
The waterfall is about 50 feet in height and is part of Queer Creek that flows through Hocking Hills. The fall descends over Black hand Sandstone before it falls freely into the pool below. As you sit and gaze at the falls, you also take in the trees and plants. Hemlock is the most talked about tree in Hocking Hills. Other trees in the region include beech and maple. Plants really add depth to the forest floor. Ferns, shrubs, and wildflowers, lichens, and mosses round out the beautiful views.
Does the Buckeye Trail go Through Hocking Hills?
The longer Buckeye Trail shares a path with the Cedar Falls trail. The Buckeye Trail is 1,400 miles and has a rich history beginning with a newspaper article in 1958. The trail goes around Ohio from Lake Erie to the Ohio River. But in Hocking Hills in addition to Cedar Falls you can hike the Buckeye near Ash Cave, and Old Man’s Cave. For more on the Buckeye trail click here
As we climb the stairs it’s a good time to share another bit of history and significance. Artist Akio Hizume designed the steps in 1997. You won’t know but he used his experience in math and architecture to build steps in a way to make it easier to ascend and descend on the trail. The steps are called “Democracy Steps for Cedar Falls 1997” and used the word “Democracy” as his intent was to make the trail easier for all, even your brood. The length of the steps were set so that you change your leading foot unconsciously to balance the strain between both legs. But the most hidden feature of these steps is that they were built with recycled materials that allow for drainage without erosion and will most likely be in good condition for years to come.
To learn more about the best hikes and experiences in Hocking Hills check out the posts below