Your Ultimate Guide to the Best Hocking Hills Canoeing

Canoeing is one of the most popular outdoor activities in Hocking Hills, Ohio, and has been a staple in the region since it was inhabited by the North American Indians. In order to travel across lakes and rivers, the Native Americans created a boat frame that was made of wooden ribs and covered with the lightweight bark of birch trees. Although those canoes were used as a necessity more than a form of leisure, canoeing continues to be one of the best ways to connect with nature. Whether you’re looking for a great workout or just want to sit back and relax, these Hocking Hills canoeing trips are the perfect addition to your next summer getaway! Here are a few of our favorite places to paddle.

The Best Places to Enjoy Hocking Hills Canoeing

Hocking Hills Adventures

Established in 1976, Hocking Hills Adventures has been offering thrilling canoe trips for over 40 years. Guests can choose from 4 unique trips that travel down the Hocking River, each taking different routes and spanning various distances. The longest excursion is 5-6 hours, travels 15 miles, and can even be turned into an overnight camping trip. All of the canoe trips feature stunning views of surrounding scenery and end at the Canoe Livery.

Starting in Lancaster, OH, the Hocking River is a great location for casual canoeing due to the lack of large rocks and rapids.  It is a class I river that has an average depth of 3-4 feet, though some parts are as deep as 12 feet.  Points of interest you may see on your Hocking Hills canoeing trip include the Natural Rockbridge and the remnants of the Hocking Canal which was destroyed by flooding in 1889.  Another feature of the Hocking River that visitors enjoy is the sense of isolation and tranquility they get while on the river.

Hocking Hills Canoe Livery

The Hocking Hills Canoe Livery has two river trip options that are perfect for beginners. The shorter Crockett’s Trip spans 5 miles and has an approximate paddling time of an hour and a half. At the beginning of the trip, guests will find several islands and sandbars that are a great place to stop for a picnic. (We’ll even pack a brown bag lunch for you!) The Rockbridge Trip has a longer paddling time of two to three hours and spans 7 miles. This route also has more narrow areas and offers the chance to hike to Natural Rockbridge State Park.

In addition, the Hocking Hills Canoe Livery offers two incredible moonlight paddles for guests to enjoy. The Moonlight Tour begins at sunset and ends with a campfire under a full moon, complete with yummy s’mores and a lively bluegrass band. Or, take the New Moon Glow Float where you’ll use glow sticks and other glowing gear to light your way down the river to the campfire. Check the website for dates and other information on both trips.

Hocking Valley Canoe Livery

From quiet family outings to day-long trips for seasoned paddlers, Hocking Valley Canoe Livery offers four fantastic canoeing excursions for every skill level. Guests can take a 1-2 hour Crockett’s Run trip, 2-3 hour Natural Rockbridge trip, 2-5 hour Clear Creek trip, or the 7-10 hour Rush Creek trip. All of the trips conclude at the Livery and include paddles, life jackets, transportation, safety instruction, and service from an experienced and friendly staff.

Paddle Back to the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls!

After an incredible day on the water, head home to the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls and relax! Feel free to unwind in one of our gorgeous inn rooms, cottages, or cabins, or venture into the common area and recount your stories by the wood-burning stove or on the veranda overlooking the garden. The next morning, you’ll be treated to a delicious complimentary breakfast that will have you fueled up and ready for another day of fun. We can’t wait to hear all about your Hocking Hills canoeing adventure!

For more information on canoeing and other fun things to do in Hocking Hills,
request a copy of our free vacation guide.

Photo Credit: nbriam | Thinkstock