Many people have the mistaken notion that you need to travel far from home to enjoy first-class rock climbing. The people who have discovered the many joys of Hocking Hills rock climbing have learned how wrong this notion really is.
Hocking Hills State Park
Hocking Hills State Park is located in central Ohio a short drive from some of the largest population centers in the country. It is a full-service park that offers just about every recreational opportunity you would hope to find. There is excellent fishing and other water sports in Rose Lake. The rugged terrain of the park is crisscrossed with world-class hiking trails. There are camping areas and rental cabins available.
Hocking State Forest
Hocking Hills rock climbing is actually centered in the adjacent Hocking State Forest area. This rugged and hilly forest area has several rugged and highly graded climbing areas that should satisfy the most serious climber. It is also home to many slightly less challenging climbs more geared to the beginner. Hocking Hills State Park can be the base of operations for a climbing get-away trip, although the central location and nearby cities provide alternatives for those who only like to rough it on the climb and not afterward.
The State Forest area does have rules that regulate all visitors as well as climbers. The rules mostly center on the protection of the forest’s natural resources. Most rock climbers are very aware of the environmental concerns of climbing and have experience in dealing with and abiding with local regulations. They understand and support these regulations as being in the best interest of the growth of their sport.
Local guide services
There are not many local guide services operating in the nearby area, so you are going to have to provide your own equipment. The climbing and rappelling area is restricted to a 99-acre tract that is easily accessed from the main roads and has its own parking area. Hocking Forest is one of only two places in the State of Ohio that allows rock climbing. There are no specific rules that govern only the climbing area. The general forest and park rules apply.
The major suggestion for the enjoyment of Hocking Hills rock climbing in Ohio is to use quality equipment and climb with experienced people. This suggestion is fairly standard in the sport and is endorsed by virtually every climber who understands climbing. Hocking Hills State Park and nearby Hocking State forest gives a glimpse of pre-settlement Ohio and is a rare natural resource. The climber will find more to do here than just climb, although for many this is often enough.