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. Native Americans created a boat frame that was made of wooden ribs and covered with the lightweight bark of birch trees to navigate bodies of water. 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. Read on to discover a few of our favorite places to paddle in the Hocking Hills region! 

When you’re ready to start planning your trip, access our Hocking Hills Vacation Guide. This free resource is filled with ways to create memorable outdoor experiences as well as recommendations on where to eat, stay, and more! 

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Top 3 Places for Hocking Hills Canoeing 

1. Hocking Hills Adventures 

Hocking Hills Adventures has been offering thrilling canoe or kayak trips for more than 40 years. Guests can choose from four unique excursions that travel down the Hocking River, each taking different routes and spanning various distances. The longest excursion is five to six hours, travels 15 miles, and can even be turned into an overnight camping trip. 

The Hocking River is a great location for a casual canoeing experience thanks to the lack of large rocks and rapids. Its a Class I River that has an average depth of three to four feet, although some parts are as deep as 12 feet.  Points of interest you may see while you canoe on the Hocking River include the Natural Rockbridge and the remnants of the Hocking Canal which was destroyed by flooding in the late 1800sMost importantly, the surroundings of the Hocking River boast a sense of isolation and tranquility. 

2. Hocking Hills Canoe Livery 

The Hocking Hills Canoe Livery offers two canoe or kayak river trip options that are perfect for novices. The shorter Crockett’s Trip spans five miles and has an approximate paddling time of an hour and a half. At the beginning of the trip, guests can 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 seven miles. This route also has more narrow areas and offers the chance to hike to Natural Rockbridge State Park. 

The Hocking Hills Canoe Livery also offers two incredible moonlight tours for guests to enjoy. The Moonlight Tour begins at sunset and ends with a campfire under a full moon, complete with delicious s’mores and a lively bluegrass band. Or take the New Moon Glow Float where you can use glow sticks and other reflective gear to light your way down the river to the campfire. This is a seasonal offering, so be sure to check the website for dates and other information on both trips. 

3. Hocking Valley Canoe Livery 

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

Stay at the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls 

Dogwood Cabin

After an incredible day on the water, head back to the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls to relax! Unwind in one of our cabins, Pacific-style yurtscottages, geodomes, or Hocking Hills Lodges

Check our availability to start planning your Hocking Hills canoeing adventure!