Hocking Hills…SouthEast Ohio’s Hidden Gem of Nature and Waterfalls

(Photo Left-Joe Braun)

Hocking Hills Ohio,
where waterfalls, remarkable hiking trails and amazing wildlife await!

We just discovered this hidden gem last month –  and WOW!  What a treat!
This is a photographers paradise. Hikers will love it. Take a deep breathe of fresh air….and just relax with nature.

Whether it’s antiques, fine art, breathtaking scenery, a hike to Old Man’s Cave or a getaway in a woodland cabin, you’ll find it all just outside Logan in southeast Ohio.
Just 60 minutes from the beautiful city of Columbus!

 There is so much that makes Hocking Hills State Park unique. Cascading waterfalls, breathtaking cliffs, deep recess caves and forestland as far as the eye can see are just a few distinctive features of the region. And everything to see is FREE.

Located in the picturesque sandstone region of Southeastern Ohio, Hocking Hills State Park encompasses some of the most scenic areas in the entire state.  Rock outcrops, deep cool gorges, and waterfalls are found throughout the 6 main park areas.  The pristine beauty of the area is enhanced by the abundance of wildlife found throughout the Hocking region. Visitors to the park can almost bet they’ll see Ohio wildlife such as white tailed deer, wild turkey or even the cumbersome box turtle.

The natural history of this region is as fascinating as the caves are beautiful.  Here, in these sandstones and shales, one can read Ohio’s history from the rocks. The scenic features of the six areas of the Hocking Hills State Park complex are carved in the Blackhand sandstone. This bedrock was deposited more than 350 million years ago as a delta in the warm shallow sea which covered Ohio at that time. 
Subsequent millions of years of uplift and stream erosion created the awesome beauty seen today.

And of course, you can still see the erosion at work when the spring rains fill up Queer Creek near Old Man’s Cave and she pours her excess into what is  called Cedar Falls. 

The Cedar Falls area is where we stayed.  The 
Inn  and Spa at Cedar Falls is recognized by SELECT REGISTRY, as one of the distinguished Inns of North America.

Surrounded on three sides by Hocking Hills State Parks, The  Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls, in Logan, Ohio, features a setting that puts guests in tune with the harmony of nature, the peace of solitude and the simple joys of the Earth’s beauty.  It was beautiful!  And they have been   green certified, by the Hocking Hills Tourism Assoc.

Mammoth rock formations, caves and waterfalls native to the Hocking Hills, Ohio region share their breathtaking beauty with the Inn’s charming cottages,  log cabins and antique filled bed and breakfast rooms.

The Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls is THE place you want to make sure you stay at! It is the original, in this area. Over the years, many mom and pop inn’s have sprouted up, but this one is THE BEST. And it has a wonderful history.

It is ran by Ellen Grinsfelder and her husband Terry Lingo.  It was Ellen’s mother,  Anne Castle who had a vision in Hocking Hills. Anne was  a well respected businesswoman who gave up her corporate life to establish a place where the ever-growing number of urban dwellers could retreat to a natural setting.

After two and a half years in the making, the vision became a reality when The Inn opened in 1987. Those two plus years were not without struggle. Located in each room at the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls, is a brief history of The Inn. It states: “This is not a Pollyanna-glad-girl story, however, the struggle to withstand backbreaking work, mind-bending discouragement, seemingly countless physical, emotional and financial blocks, is a long tale…” A story not unlike many great entrepreneurs.

The Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls is distinguished by the 1840′s log houses that are homes to The Inn’s gourmet kitchen, dining rooms and tavern. Constructed with 18-inch wide logs and the original plank floor, the main dining room offers a romantic setting. Outside dining on the gorgeous and lush patio offers guests the opportunity to view hummingbirds at feeders and dine under the stars.




 The Inn is a barn-like structure housing 9  antique-furnished rooms each with its own private bath. The porch and veranda feature a spectacular view of the Hocking Hills. A large common room is available for guests or business meetings.

Over the years, 12  Cozy cottages were added and  nestled into the woods, affording privacy and tranquility.

For large groups or just more space, 5 larger renovated, fully equipped 19th Century log cabins feature privacy and cooking facilities. So you really have 3 choices when selecting your place to stay.


 Ideal for a tranquil romantic getaway, each Hocking Hills Cozy cottage is situated on two acres of natural wooded beauty and has the charming ambiance of a gas log stove and private deck. Relax and unwind in a whirlpool hot tub for two after a day of hiking the Hocking Hills. Sit on the back deck and sip a glass of wine and admire the brilliant evening sky full of stars.

Plush robes, fine soap, lotions, and lip balm add an extra touch  for cottage guests. Towel warmers and hair dryers are also provided. Fresh baked cookies await your arrival in the cottages.

The Sumac Cottage is handicap accessible. Two Dog Friendly Cottages are Trillium and Yarrow. Children of all ages are welcome in some of the  cabins. The rooms and cottages are not set up to accommodate them. Additional features offered in the Supreme Cottages.

And what about a commitment ceremony?  The Hilltop Garden is simple, but beautifully landscaped with local flowers, fruit trees and benches. Couples desiring an outdoor wedding make this an ideal setting. It offers sitting or standing room for up to 50 guests.

The new Rooftop Garden is a 1000-squarefoot rooftop herb and flower garden with walking paths. There is a small gazebo and it is ideal for smaller weddings of up to 20 people. The Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls provides the PERFECT romantic backdrop for ceremony/dinner/honeymoon. Owner Ellen says, “We’ve created an environment that makes the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls an ideal place for your ceremony. The Inn’s 75 acres is perfectly suited for small, intimate gatherings of up to 50 people. Make your day unique and unforgettable by allowing us to help you envision, create, plan, and fulfill your special day. Your every last wish is delightfully anticipated!”


 A unique dining experience awaits Hocking Hills guests in the double log cabin. The open kitchen is the heart of this bed and breakfast inn, where guests may chat while watching gourmet meals being prepared from scratch. Fine American cuisine is the specialty and in-season patio dining is available. Executive chef Anthony Schulz creates  Wonderful food!  In a casual setting.

Each season, the Inn, presents a new menu. “We have incorporated Ohio’s vast cultural influences into our style of preparation. Local Ohio products inspired by classic, culinary traditions yield a delicious way to explore our national heritage.” – Breakfast, lunch and dinner’s available. Full bar and extensive wine list.

SPA!  AHHHHHHHH.    A quiet retreat awaits those seeking the luxury of spa services gently balanced with a closeness to nature. There’s a moment when it all comes together — when you discover the best in yourself. In the middle of your busy schedule, it’s easy to miss these special times that can awaken you to life’s possibilities. Open daily, the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls offers packages, treatments and gift certificates for men, women, couples and groups.

The Inn continues to grow and review its mission, constantly evolving. It’s idea has remained the same throughout 23 years of operation. Simply put, it says, “We are a Country Inn in a peaceful, natural setting, where people can connect with the earth and universe. We are dedicated to high standards — standards of Excellence. We have committed ourselves to quality food, quality surroundings, quality service and quality employees.”

WHEN TO GO?  Pretty much anytime during the year. In the winter it’s like a wonderland, in the summer it looks like something us city dwellers, only see in magazines. Witness the fall colors in Autumn or the magic of the holiday season.

Insider hint –   WEEKDAYS are better than weekends, in my opinion. It  is less busy.

Editors note – No TV or computers here. This is about GETTING AWAY FROM IT ALL!   ESCAPE! There is wi-fi available in the main building, should  you absolutely  feel the need to check in with the rat race!

Hocking Hills Official site
Hocking Hills State Park

Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls
Inn’s  and Spa’s Special Event Calendar