What Are the Best Places for Birding in the Hocking Hills?

What comes to mind when you think of outdoor exploration in the Hocking Hills? For some, it’s a challenging hike through the dense woods of Hocking Hills State Park. Others may test their limits with a rock climbing excursion. If you’re looking for a relaxing way to take in the beautiful scenery of this area, consider birding in the Hocking Hills! This peaceful activity is a great way to become acquainted with the unique flora and fauna of this area. Read on to discover five of our favorite spots for bird watching in the Hocking Hills!

When you’re ready to start planning your trip, access our free Hocking Hills State Park Guide! This resource has local recommendations on all of the ways you can explore our Ohio state park. 

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Top 5 Spots for Birding in the Hocking Hills

Check out our top five favorite spots for birding in the Hocking Hills below! You’re sure to spot some rare and beautiful Hocking Hills wildlife, as all of these nature areas have more than 100 reported bird species. 

1. Conkle’s Hollow State Nature Preserve 

Conkle’s Hollow State Nature Preserve boasts 87 acres of stunning natural beauty. In the spring, Conkle’s Hollow looks like a scene from a fairytale novel, with flourishing wildflowers and magnificent sandstone gorges. It’s also a great spot for birdwatching! The spring and summer are the best time for bird watching here. On any given day, you have a good chance of spotting turkey vultures, black-throated green warblers, northern cardinals, and more!

2. Hocking Hills State Park 

When it comes to wilderness areas in Ohio, Hocking Hills State Park is the star of the show! There are countless ways to explore the state park’s 2,000 acres. Add bird watching to your list of things to do when you visit. Just don’t forget to pack binoculars! Most often, visitors spot the sights and sounds of rock pigeons, several types of sparrows, American robins, eastern bluebirds, and more! Check out a full list of bird observations and make a species checklist to bring along. 

3. Lake Logan State Park

Lake Logan State Park has the most reported bird species at nearly 200. For this reason, it’s a bird lover’s paradise! Enjoy the sights and sounds of songbirds, as well as majestic species like the red-tailed hawk and barn owl. Occasionally, eagles make an appearance at Lake Logan State Park! Visit during migration season to observe waterfowl as they travel north.

4. Rockbridge State Nature Preserve

Pack your binoculars and a camera to visit Rockbridge State Nature Preserve! This 202-acre wilderness area in Hocking County is home to some of the rarest bird species in Ohio. Look and listen closely for winter wrens, red-headed woodpeckers, and more. Even if you don’t spot the rare species, you won’t be disappointed in the beauty of the ever-present American robin and eastern bluebird. 

5. Wayne National Forest 

Kern Road in Wayne National Forest is one of the best, yet lesser-known spots, for birding in the Hocking Hills. This area features year-round opportunities for bird watching. It’s common to see northern shrike and short-eared owls in the winter, while the spring and summer feature lots of sparrows, prairie warblers, and more! Stop by Kern Road before or after a day of hiking, biking, or horseback riding at this national forest.

Birds to Watch For in the Hocking Hills 

Bird-watching and feeding are the number one fastest growing outdoor recreational activities in the world for all ages. The Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls is one of the best places to bird-watch in the Hocking Hills. Our 75 acres of woods and fields are a natural habitat for many different species of birds. Enjoy watching them from your cottage or cabin, while dining on the patio or along the path to the spa. Not only is the Inn’s wooded property great for bird watching, but within a short distance there are other great birding habitats in the Hocking Hills. Try the Nature Preserves like Conkle’s Hollow, the Metro Parks like Clear Creek and Natural Forests like Wayne National Forest. Birding can be done while canoeing, horseback riding and even zip lining.

Guest birders have started a list of birds seen in our habitat. While every season brings birds, different ones can be seen and heard at different times of the year. Winter and spring are two great times to discover birds as they are easier to spot in the trees and brush. We hope when you visit and discover a species not on our list, you will add to it.

A good resource for birds and birding in the Hocking Hills area is the Hocking Valley Birding Trail website.


By Shaune Skinner and Kitty Butterworth

  • Ovenbird
  • Bluejay
  • Hooded Warbler
  • Red Eyed Vireo
  • Eastern Wood Pewee
  • White Breasted Nuthatch
  • Robin
  • Cardinal
  • Red Bellied Woodpecker
  • Crow
  • Magnolia Warbler
  • Barred Owl
  • Towhee
  • Scarlet Tanager
  • Chestnut Sided Warbler
  • Phoebe
  • Titmouse
  • Chickadee
  • Rose Breasted Grosebeak
  • Chimney Swift
  • Catbird
  • White Throated Sparrow
  • Bluebird
  • Common Yellowthroat
  • Yellow Warbler
  • Starling
  • Indigo Bunting
  • Wood Thrush
  • Flicker
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Carolina Wren
  • Northern Parula
  • Hummingbird

Stay at The Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls

Return to The Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls after a day of birding in the Hocking Hills! We are surrounded on three sides by Hocking Hills State Park, so you can continue your bird watching adventure right outside of your geodomes, Pacific-style yurt, cabin, cottage, or Hocking Hills lodge.

Check our availability and start planning your trip to the Hocking Hills!