Take Paws is a showcase for people having fun with their pets – and sharing YOUR pet travel experiences may be the nudge someone else needs to pack up and head out with their own best friend! Today we’re traveling southeast of Columbus, Ohio with Brian Hawkins to a fantastic state park called Hocking Hills. Brian’s visited there with his family, including the Black Lab, Izzy, and was kind enough to share his experience.
As more vacationers opt to include their beloved pets in their travel plans, more attractions are embracing the pet friendly concept. More than 75 cities and towns in Ohio feature pet friendly attractions and accommodations that welcome four-legged family members to join in the fun.
One of the most interesting vacation spots we’ve found is Hocking Hills State Park. Situated in the southeastern region of Ohio, near the town of Logan, Hocking Hills offers numerous hiking trails and breathtaking sites – including cascading waterfalls, towering cliffs, and sandstone caves begging to be explored. Dogs are welcome in most areas of the park, including the campgrounds.
Hocking Hills State Park’s wooded trails take hikers through 26 miles of picturesque vistas. Ash Cave, the largest in the state, is accessed through a narrow gorge bordered by hemlock, beech trees, hardwood trees, and wildflowers. The area of Old Man’s Cave boasts scenes for any photography buff – gorges, cliffs, rapids, streams, waterfalls, and tunnels. Cedar Falls rewards hikers with views of a remote, rock-walled chasm highlighted by grottos and waterfalls.
Other sites that warrant exploration include Cantwell Cliffs and Rock House. All are steeped in history and geological marvel, and all welcome dogs to accompany their owners on hiking expeditions!
As a safety precaution, dogs must be kept on a leash and you should bring water for you and your pet. Picnic areas provide attractive rest spots along the way.
Hocking Hills is home to a variety of wildlife, from raccoons, deer, and turkey to groundhogs, fox, and hummingbirds. Many of the park’s cottages are pet friendly and provide stations for vacationers to feed the animals for closer viewing.
Though they’re not allowed at the swimming beaches, water-loving pups will find plenty of ponds and streams for romping and swimming. Dogs also love canoeing down the Hocking River, stopping for a picnic and a splash, and supervising the fishing endeavors. Ice fishing is an option during winter months – perfect for the Newfies and Huskies in the crowd.
We chose to stay in the charming and rustic cabins of Getaway Cabins in Hocking Hills. Their resident cat, Misty, is on duty to welcome pets when vacationers check-in at the office. Staying here put all the recreational opportunities right at our fingertips.
Guests have access to an extensive free library of films, giving you and your canine couch potato an indoor option for winding down at the end of an active day. If you prefer to eat in, The Traveling Chef offers personal chef services and will prepare an entire meal in your cabin. There is also a photography service available if you’d like to capture the memories of your trip amongst the captivating scenery of the park.
During a stay in Hocking Hills, Great Expectations Bookstore and Café and Millstone BBQ, both located in Logan, provide pet friendly dining options. Also in Logan, dogs can assist with grocery shopping at Grandma Faye’s Grocery and peruse the wares at Tractor Supply Company, where pet foods and supplies can be found.
From the winter wonderland of snow-covered trails and cabins, to the lush flora of spring and summer, to the explosive colors of autumn’s foliage, every season at Hocking Hills State Park in Ohio provides a spectacular backdrop for vacationers who want to reconnect with nature. The pet friendly atmosphere makes this the perfect choice for pet travelers who include the whole family in their adventures.
About the Author: Brian Hawkins works as part of the internet development team at Dave Arbogast RV Depot in Troy, Ohio, where he writes about the travel industry daily. When he is not writing he enjoys camping, fishing, and traveling with his wife, two children and their Black Lab Izzy.