Winter Hiking the Rock House Rim Trail – Hocking Hills State Park, OH

Explore the beautiful and unique cave known as Rock House on a short 0.7-mile hike.

Trail Details

– Parking: 39.496188, -82.614532
– Trailhead: 39.496583, -82.615139
Distance & Type: 0.7 miles loop
Elevation change: 165 foot elevation gain
Difficulty: Easy

Hike features: The 200-foot long and 30-foot tall Rock House Cave, Moss Covered Cliffs, a 100-foot tall ‘seasonal’ waterfall next to the Rock House cave.

Note: Trail conditions change over time.  If you discover any inaccuracies with this post during your visit, please post a comment below.

Located around eight miles from Old Man’s Cave Visitors Center is the popular Rock House trail. The trail’s short length (just over a half mile in length) and beautiful rock formations make the Rock House Rim Trail hike a top 5 destination in Hocking Hills State Park.

**Caution: This trail passes near cliffs and steep drop offs. Use caution and watch where you, and your family, walk when near these cliffs.**

The trails are well maintained including the 60+ stone steps that guide you down the gorge. Entering the cave is done by walking up a few stone steps through a side cave opening. The inside of the cave will be dark, so I would recommend bringing a light source or using your phone’s flashlight feature.

The Rock Cave can be visited throughout the year, but the stone steps and trail can ice over during the winter months. I would pack a pair of MicroSpikes if visiting during the winter months and allow extra time to complete the hike.

The Rock House is one of those hikes I always complete whenever I’m in the area of Hocking Hills State Park. It is a quick hike that offers a unique landscape that you don’t see in other areas of the park. I love the sandstone stairs that lead into the gorge and the beautiful moss covered cliffs.

The Rock House has a colorful history including stories of Native Americans making the cave a home in addition to Rock House being referred to as Robbers Roost as local folklore says robbers, murderers and bootleggers would use the cave as a hideout at times.

Hike walkthrough

  • Mile 0.0 – From the Rock House parking lot, proceed up the stone stairs and walk towards the covered gazebo. Facing the gazebo, the Rock House Rim trail is located to the right near a wooden sign.

  • Mile 0.1 – Follow the Rock House Rim Trail for 0.25 miles until you reach the intersection where the Gorge Trail intersects and leads to sandstone stairs to your left. On this route, you will pass by some cliff vistas offering early views of the Rock House’s east window.

  • Mile 0.3 – Proceed down the stone steps and follow the trail past moss covered cliffs

  • Mile 0.4 – Enter the Rock House and explore the unique features of this cave. The Rock House measures 25 feet tall by 20 feet wide and 200 feet long. Depending on the time of year a waterfall can be viewed from the western most window of the cave.

  • Mile 0.4 – When ready, depart the cave the same way you entered it. Proceed along the trail and down the 53 stone steps that leads to a foot bridge and past the seasonal waterfall.

  • Mile 0.5 – Follow the trail for a steady climb uphill until you reach the trail’s exit near the gazebo.