Frequently asked questions & guidelines

How do I book a reservation?  
Cal 740.777.2579 or book online.  If you don't see the option you'd like available online please give us a call.

Reservations are required for everything we do.  

Several treks are available year round including rappelling, guided hikes, survival skills modules and archery

Ohio Belly Boat Fishing treks begin as soon as the water temperature reaches 50 degrees, typically April through October.

Please plan on arriving at least fifteen minutes prior to your scheduled trek time. 

When you're visiting the Hocking Hills, pretend it's the 90's, plan ahead, leave early, print hard copies of the map to the meeting point and be prepared for any weather conditions.
There are no restroom facilities at the trek meeting point so please include any additional time needed to stop for a restroom break.  
What if you call, text or email to say you're running late?
We run on time. Because of the limitations in mobile phone coverage, if you call to say you're running late we may not be able to receive your call or reach the guide.   Pretend it's the '90s! Leave early, carry a printed copy of the map and be on time.

What does on-demand programming mean?
On-demand programming means that we schedule private treks for you and your group at a time and location you prefer, year-round, anywhere in Ohio. Naturalist-led hikes, rock climbing, rappelling, belly boat fishing, living history presentations and team building events can be booked for any public or private location as needed.  Just tell us the group size and location and we'll be there whether it's  a metro park, state park or private property location, indoors or outdoors.  Schools, scout troops, corporate outings, private gatherings, family reunions and girlfriend getaways are ideal for group treks that fit into your schedule.

How far in advance do I need to book?  
From March through November we are generally able to accommodate small groups with one to three days notice.  Larger groups should try to book at least one to two weeks in advance. From November through March we are often able to provide rappelling, hiking and archery treks with one to three days notice.  Calling as far in advance as possible will help ensure you're able to trek on the day you'd like.

Do your guides accept tips?  
Yes, and it's very appreciated. Our guides are there to ensure you have an educational, enjoyable and memorable experience.  If you'd like to offer a tip, the industry standard is 10%.

How can I pay?  
Payment by credit card including Visa, Mastercard and Discover are taken by phone at the time bookings are made.

How can we set up a group outing?  
Larger groups should try to call as far in advance as possible to ensure the dates you wish to book will be available.

How long does a trek last?  
Treks vary in distance, duration and subject matter.  Descriptions on the Trek Schedule page include a time range for each trek.  Our naturalist led hikes are interpretive walks where we make frequent stops to discuss what we're finding in nature that day.  Our shortest trek lasts about two hours and covers a mile or two.  We have longer state forest and state nature preserve loop treks that last 3 to 5 hours.  We also offer point to point treks, for example, Ash Cave to Old Man's cave.  This trek is 6 miles and takes 4 to 5 hours.  Rock climbing and rappelling treks vary from 2 1/2 hours to 4 hours with one exception, our Big Spring Waterfall rappel trek lasts around 5 hours.

Will my cell phone work?  
Depends on where you're standing at that moment.  In general, Sprint phones are more likely to work in the Hocking State Forest than Verizon and AT&T.  Please plan on keeping it in your pocket unless you're using it to take pictures. 

Do you operate year-round?  
Yes! Any time of year is a great time to be in the woods.  On-demand programming adds some flexibility.  Just call before your trip to double check.

How often are treks offered? 
We publish a daily trek schedule to help folks plan visits to the Hocking Hills.  Typical start times are 10am and 1pm.    As we get into the longer days of summer we can offer start times as late as 5 p.m. for many treks.  On-demand programming allows us to work within your schedule as well.  Groups visiting the area for multiple days often choose to include multiple treks as part of an itinerary. We also offer special event treks that are described in more detail on the "Services" page.

What do I need to bring?  
A fanny pack or day pack with drinking water, snacks, camera and insect repellent are good ideas.  One liter of water per person should be considered a minimum — two liters if it's a hot day.  Depending on the season and the forecast, you may want to throw in your rain gear, a dry t-shirt or a fleece jacket. Check the weather forecast before you come.

What should I wear?One of the most important things you can do is to keep your feet dry.  We trek year-round and experience all of Ohio's wondrous weather conditions including water, ice, snow and mud.  It's a really good idea to wear water proof footwear.  Several of our treks will traverse shallow streams and mud.  Some visitors wear leg protection to avoid scratches and contact with things like poison ivy that can occur along the trail.  Layering is another great idea.  Wear a combination of layers that will protect you from whatever is likely in the forecast for that day.

Do you trek in the rain and snow?  
Yes, we trek in any weather.  If a thunderstorm is imminent at the time your trek is scheduled to start we'll wait it out in our cars at the meeting point.  If it occurs on the trail there are lots of places where we can take cover including caves or overhangs.  Given the lack of cell phone coverage in the state forest areas, it's a really good idea to contact us the day before to confirm plans and discuss alternatives.  If we cancel your trip due to weather, we'll work with you to reschedule for another time.

What if it's really cold outside?  
Winter is a great time to trek in the Hocking Hills. It's fun and the sites are completely different from any other time of year. With the leaves off of the trees, the birds, rocks and cliffs are more visible and waterfalls form massive icicles. We recommend layers: long underwear, wool socks, warm caps, glove liners (full gloves will not fit under the gloves you will be required to wear to zip), ski outerwear and face masks for extreme temperatures. 

Where do Hocking Hills Adventure Treks meet?  
Unless otherwise specified, all treks meet at the Hocking State Forest Rock Climbing and Rappelling Area parking lot on Big Pine Rd.  This is a gravel parking lot approximately one mile east of the Conkles Hollow state nature preserve parking area.  The sign is located across the road from the parking area.  Have a look at our "Contact" page.  Print a hard copy of the map.  GPS are often inactive or inaccurate so it's a good idea to leave at least 30 minutes earlier than expected and bring a hard copy of the map on our contact page.

Are there restrooms?  
Not really!   For Hocking Hills Adventure Trek activities like rock climbing, rappelling and naturalist led treks, the nearest facilities are latrines located at the Conkles Hollow State Nature Preserve parking area, about one mile West on Big Pine Rd.  Old Man's Cave State Park Lodge is the nearest location with running water and full service facilities.  It's about 3 miles as the crow flies or 10 minutes by car.

How many people are considered to be a group? 
There's no limit to group sizes. Some of the nature preserve permits we carry are limited in numbers, but these vary from preserve to preserve. We frequently accommodate groups of 10 to 300 depending on the activity.  We'll work with you to customize an event ideal for your group's logistics. For payment purposes, you will be charged according to the number of people in your group.  Unless you book a private trek, we may combine groups. If you do book a private group, we guarantee you'll have your guide's full attention. Individuals wishing to register without paying for private guiding may do so if another small group is trekking on the requested date.

What is private guiding/instruction?  
Private guiding means you have an exclusive guide for your trek. Please let us know your specific goals and interests and we'll try to match you up with the best suited guide. See the "Book a Trek" tab for more information on private guiding.

Where can I stay? 
There are many campgrounds, cabins and hotel rooms located in the surrounding Hocking, Athens, Vinton and Fairfield counties. See our partners on the "Book a Trek" page.

Trekking Qualifications:

  • Every participant must sign a Liability Release Form.
  • Participants under the age of 18 must have a signed waiver by a parent. If the parent is not present, a photocopy of the parent's drivers license must accompany the signed waiver.
  • Hocking Hills Adventure Trek is designed for participants that are in reasonably good health and capable of hiking in open forest, up and down hill and in any weather.
  • Participants must advise staff of any medical concerns prior to departing on your trek. In case of emergency, you may be miles, possibly hours, from medical assistance.  
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult and must be able to participate independently of the adult.
  • Hocking Hills Adventure Trek covers unpaved trails owned by the State of Ohio with inclines that may, at times, exceed 10%. Each participant must be able to complete the trek without assistance. It can be challenging for individuals that are not in average or better physical condition and accustomed to walking regularly.
  • Pregnant women, people with heart, leg or back problems or other serious illnesses may not be allowed to participate in the trek.
  • No one under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs or impairing substances will be allowed to participate in the trek.
  • No weapons!  No trek participant is permitted to carry a concealed weapon.
  • Hocking Hills Adventure Trek reserves the right to exclude anyone from participation because of medical or safety concerns, or for any other reason.​​

Cancellation Policay:
All reservations are considered firm bookings.  We do not cancel or rescheduling based on a weather forecast.  Customer cancellations greater than 14 days in advance will be charged a 20% booking fee. Customer cancellations between 14 days and 72 hours prior to the originally scheduled event time will be cahrged a 50% booking fee.   Customers cancelling within 72 hours of the reservation time will be charged 100% of original cost.