Hikers enjoy the beauty of the annual Hocking Hills Winter Hike. The next one is Jan. 19. CONTRIBUTED
Photo: www.activedayton.com
Photo: www.activedayton.com

WORTH THE DRIVE: Walk through a winter wonderland at Hocking Hills annual winter hike

Start the new year on the right foot: by walking through the winter wonderland that is Hocking Hills. 

The 54th Annual Hocking Hills Winter Hike takes place Jan. 19, kicking off the day at 9 a.m. with a six-mile trek from Old Man's Cave to Ash Cave.

Visitors from around the globe will flock to the region to celebrate its glittering views and experience its famed winter activities. In addition, many cabins and inns are offering lodging specials and discounts in January. 

>>WHERE TO STAY: 7 of the craziest, coolest places to stay in Hocking Hills

The Hocking Hills area offers some of the most stunning scenic Ohio vistas to drink in throughout the year. CONTRIBUTED
Photo: Contributing Writer

The Winter Hike draws thousands of hikers each year to experience the Midwest's most magnificent winter scenes. The region's gorgeous rock formations, soaring cliffs, deep gorges and stunning waterfalls freeze to icy, crystal sculptures, making the Hocking Hills one of the Buckeye State's most popular winter destinations.

>>PHOTOS: Must-see natural waterfall ‘ice sculptures’ at Hocking Hills

The hike features continuous starts from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Hot bean soup, served midway at Cedar Falls, is free, though donations are encouraged. A shuttle bus will return hikers from Ash Cave to the Old Man's Cave parking lot. 

Layered clothing and good traction footwear are recommended, as snow and ice can make trails slippery. They’re also encouraged to shoot photos and videos of the region’s majestic winter beauty and to post them to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter tagging #MyHockingHills. 

"Winter is truly a magical time in the Hills, as visitors immerse themselves in a spectacular winter wonderland,” said Hocking Hills Tourism Association Executive Director Karen Raymore. “Travelers can enjoy even more fun by experiencing the Winter Hike and the Frozen Festival.” 

>>MORE TO DO: Why this charming Ohio town’s ‘Frozen’ fest is worth the drive

Immediately after the hike, head to Logan for the charming town’s Frozen Festival. The festival is in its fourth year, dazzling visitors with more than two dozen massive glittering ice sculptures, ice carving demonstrations, live music, ice corn hole, and Skee-Ball. 

The free event also features local arts and crafts, food trucks, local dining and even $1 tastings from the Hocking Hills Winery, Brewery 33 and Hocking Hills Moonshine distillery.

WANT TO GO?

What: 54th Annual Hocking Hills Winter Hike

Where: Hocking Hills State Park 19852 State Route 664 S, Logan 

When: Jan. 19, with continuous starts from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. 

Cost: Free

More info: Complete traveler information is available at ExploreHockingHills.com or 1-800-Hocking (800-462-5464

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