Conkles Hollow is a State Nature Preserve located in Hocking Hills. Conkles Hollow features a rocky gorge with a beautiful valley floor.
Visit Conkles Hollow
Conkles Hollow is a MUST visit when you are in the Hocking Hills area. Honestly, this is one of our favorite places in that area. There are two trails at Conkles Hollow. There is the rim trail and the lower trail.
It is said that Conkles Hollow is one of the deepest gorges in Ohio! Conkles Hollow was purchased by the state of Ohio back in 1925 so that the beauty could be preserved. It wasn’t until 1977 that Conkles Hollow was dedicated as a state nature preserve.
Conkles Hollow was named after W. J. Conkle who left his name and the date of 1979 carved into the wall of the gorge.
Conkles Hollow - Lower Trail Video
Conkles Hollow - Lower Trail
The Lower Trail at Conkles Hollow is a 1-ish mile out and back trail. The trail is considered easy and takes about a half hour to complete. The beginning of the trail is wheelchair and stroller friendly, but at one point, the level ground ends and do you have to climb through some rocky areas.
We like Conkles Hollow because it has so much to offer in that short distance. You cover over a bridge, walk along side a little stream, walk on a paved path, boardwalk and so much more. The further you walk into the gorge the narrower it gets.
Be on the lookout for a small recessed cave on your lower trail hike. As you walk on the Conkles Hollow lower trail notice how the vegetation growth changes. You will see that in some places the growth is so thick that sunlight does not reach the floor of the gorge.
PRO TIP: If you arrive early in the morning, enter the area quietly and you might find a deer drinking from the stream.
As you walk back through the gorge, notice the massive height of the cliffs, which are about 200 feet above the valley floor. At some points the gorge narrows to about 100 feet across.
As you make your way to the end of the lower trail, you will find a 20 foot waterfall. The size of this waterfall will vary depending on recent rainfall. There is NO swimming or wading allowed near the waterfall. If it has rained recently, you should notice many waterfalls cascading down over the sandstone cliffs.
PRO TIP: Watch up in the trees as you hike the lower trail. We saw some bats flying around one afternoon we were there!
Conkles Hollow - Rim Trail or Upper Trail
The Rim Trail at Conkles Hollow is about 2 miles in length. The rim trail circles the gorge. The cliffs are some of the highest in the area. The trail has uneven steps, large drop offs, drastic incline and decline as well as steep terrain.
Conkles Hollow Upper Trail offers extensive cliff views, but with that comes lots of steps! We will be hiking this one next time around and will report back and update the post with tips!
The Conkles Hollow Legend
Legend has it that a petroglyph was found on the gorge wall by early settlers. The picture showed an arrow pointing to the opposite side of the gorge. Legend says that Indians robbed settlers and hid the loot deep inside the gorge.
But don’t start digging at Conkles Hollow because that is illegal. It is said that the treasures were hidden in a small recess that could only be reached by climbing a tree. (also don’t climb the trees!) 🙂 Many local friends of Conkles Hollow claim to have seen the wall carving, but time has since washed it away.
Conkles Hollow Quick Tips
- 2 Trails (1 short, 1 long)
- NO pets allowed
- Waterfall onsite
- Open Dawn until Dusk
- Portapotties available
- Lower Trail is paved, boardwork, ADA approved about ¾ of the way
PRO TIP: The parking lot can easily look FULL, but do not let that deter you! The park is long and has plenty of room for everybody, even socially distanced if need be! So pull in, head to the back where the turn around is, there are usually spaces up front. Nobody seems to pull back all the way!
Where is Conkles Hollow located?
Conkles Hollow is located at 24858 Big Pine Road, Rockbridge, Ohio 43149. Located just off S. R. 374. If you are looking for lodging, Idyll Reserve is close by.
GPS Tracking: (39.452935, -82.572075).
Let's go to Conkle's Hollow!
Have you ever been to Conkle's Hollow in the Hocking Hills area? We want to know, did you hike the lower or upper trail? Any tips to share? Drop us a comment below!
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