The Best Things to Do on the Hocking River

Starting in Lancaster, Ohio, and flowing southeast, the Hocking River is rich in history and is ideal for outdoor recreation. Before the first settlers came to the Hocking Hills, three Native American Tribes lived in the area and used the river to catch animals like turtles, fish, and clams that were a vital food supply. They originally named this body of water Hokhochen, which means “bottle-shaped”, but the name was shortened to “Hocking” in the 1800s.

Today, the entire surrounding area is now known as the Hocking Hills and is a spectacular, scenic region that attracts visitors from far and wide. Located just 20 minutes from the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls, guests can experience the true beauty of Ohio by taking a trip to the Hocking River.

Some of Our Favorite Activities on the Hocking River

1. Fishing

Anglers can cast a line in the hopes of catching a variety of fish species on the Hocking River. The mid and upper portions of the river have an impressive amount of smallmouth bass, and typical midwest species like channel catfish, white crappie, quillback, sauger, and more have also been spotted.

2. River Trips

With an average depth of only 3 to 4 feet, the Hocking River is generally calm and smooth and is ideal for canoeing, kayaking, rafting, and tubing in the summertime. Both Hocking Hills Adventures and the Hocking Hills Canoe Livery offer a variety of scenic trips for all skill levels, and our inn can pack a brown bag lunch for you to enjoy while on your journey. Canoe tours provide a peaceful, calm ride through the trees, and kayaks are fast and easier to maneuver – just be careful not to tip over!

3. Camping

Guests can also spend a weekend roughing it on the Hocking River. One of the most popular areas for Hocking Hills camping is the Riverside Campground, where visitors can enjoy over 80 large sites complete with picnic tables, fire rings, and nearby flushing toilets. Many of the sites offer swimming access and are close to the Fun Center, which features mini-golf, go-karts, a driving range, arcade, grills, shelter houses, and a picnic facility.

Things to Do Near the Hocking River

If you’re not a big fan of the water, there are plenty of hiking and biking trails nearby that will give you a beautiful waterfront view without getting you wet. The Hocking River flows through Rockbridge State Nature Preserve, which features unique formations like natural rock bridges and is a wonderful place to explore on foot. Or, take a thrilling zip line ride with Hocking Hills Canopy Tours to see the river from a birds-eye view! 

Stay at the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls!

Before you start planning your adventure, be sure to download a Hocking River map, then book your stay at our Hocking Hills resort! Our beautiful cabins, cottages, geodomes, yurts, and lodges are the perfect retreat after a few days of rugged camping, and a delicious dinner at our award-winning restaurant, Kindred Spirits, will help you refuel. We can’t wait to hear about your experience on the Hocking River!

Bringing your furry friend along? Check out our dog-friendly rentals.

For more information on the best things to do in Hocking Hills, download our free vacation guide.