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A Fantastic Hocking Hills State Park Visit (and Overnight at Glenlaurel)

A Fantastic Hocking Hills State Park Visit (and Overnight at Glenlaurel)

Looking for a picturesque retreat surrounded by mesmerizing natural beauty? Look no further than Hocking Hills, Ohio, where you can find peace, adventure, and luxury all in one place. With plenty of hiking trails, waterfalls, caves, and other natural marvels, Hocking Hills State Park and region are the ultimate destination for nature lovers.

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And when it comes to accommodations, nothing beats the charm and elegance of Glenlaurel. Situated amidst the rolling hills and verdant forests, Glenlaurel Inn offers a comfortable and inviting respite from the modern world’s stresses. In this post, we’ll look at what to expect when visiting Hocking Hills and staying at Glenlaurel Inn.

Most come to the year-round Hocking Hills in Southern Ohio to enjoy the spectacular natural wonders and outdoor recreational activities. The region is characterized by rugged terrain, dense forests, and scenic waterfalls, making it an ideal spot for hiking, rappelling, kayaking, and birdwatching.

Hocking Hills is an hour from Columbus, two hours from Cincinnati, and 75 minutes from Parkersburg, WV.

Thanks to Glenlaurel for hosting my overnight accommodations and seven course dinner. As always, opinions and reviews are 100% mine and unbiased.

Hocking Hills State Park

Hocking Hills State Park is a crowded, year-round 2,356-acre park with hiking trails, picnic areas, and a swimming lake. Families and solo travelers coming to seek out Old Man’s Cave (1 mile hike-moderate level), Cantwell Cliffs (2 miles- difficult level), and Whispering Cave Trail ( 4.5 miles-difficult level), which leads you to the 105-foot seasonal waterfall that cascades below the ground.

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Along these trails, you’ll encounter waterfalls, cave formations, and stunning vistas that will leave you breathless.

Ash Cave Gorge is only a quarter mile, but it is an easy hike and fully accessible. Regardless of your path, hemlock-shaded gorges and picturesque cliffs are involved. Cedar Falls, in particular, is a favorite among visitors, who love to see the waterfall cascading over sandstone cliffs into a serene pool below.

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Other park activities are mountain biking, hunting, fishing at Rose Lake, and stargazing at the John Glenn Astronomy Park grounds.

Want more to do in Ohio? We give you 7 Fun Ohio Road Trips that you’ll definitely want to pencil in on your calendar.

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Staying at Glenlaurel

Experience the ultimate luxury getaway in the heart of Ohio’s Hocking Hills at Glenlaurel, a Scottish Inn & Cottages. Immerse yourself in a rustic European setting where every detail has been meticulously curated for comfort.

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From charming Scottish country cottages to romantic and elegant suites and traditional rooms, the accommodations offer modern amenities such as Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs, ensuring a memorable stay. Indulge in plush bedding, lavish towels, fireplaces, and other high-end touches that make you feel pampered.

Accommodations include crofts, rooms, or cottages, each offering its own unique charm.

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At Glenlaurel, you’ll discover a landscape reminiscent of the Scottish Highlands. Witness breathtaking sunsets and embark on unforgettable hikes, guided by the inn’s knowledgeable front desk staff, eager to share maps and tips about this beautiful Hocking Hills region.

The pristine grounds also boast an 18-hole Scottish Links Golf Course, reserved exclusively for guests.

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Glenlaurel Amenities and Perks

Unwind at the deck bar outside the main restaurant, surrounded by beautiful flowers and cozy seating arrangements. Glenlaurel’s skilled bartenders will craft the perfect drink to complement your evening. Then, there are complimentary beverages and cookies in the bar area daily and appetizers during the pub social.

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During your stay, take advantage of the inn’s DVD library in the lobby, where you can enjoy a selection of old and new movies. Disconnect from the outside world and immerse yourself in the serenity of Glenlaurel.

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Pamper yourself with rejuvenating spa services, including massages, facials, and other treatments designed to leave you feeling refreshed and revitalized. And for the ultimate relaxation, indulge in the all-season hot tubs located on the private wooded decks of the cottages.

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Other Hocking Hills Area Lodging

Of course, there are oodles of other lodging choices minutes away in Hocking Hills, including cozy B&Bs, rustic cabins, charming cottages, tents, and tipis. Hocking Hills State Park also has 81 guest rooms and 40 cabins. There are numerous campgrounds and RV spots around the area.

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Glenlaurel’s Unique Dining

One of the highlights of staying at Glenlaurel Inn is the dining experience. The inn’s restaurant serves up delicious farm-to-table cuisine with a Scottish twist, showcasing locally sourced ingredients, like grass-fed beef, artisanal cheeses, and fresh produce.

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Guests enjoy a complimentary hearty breakfast with three courses with their lodging. One day, we had omelets and French toast with bacon, and on the second, Eggs Benedict. We enjoyed porridge and a display of sweets and pastries before the main course arrived.

Coffee, soda, juice, and tea are drink choices.

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Romantic candlelight six or seven (on Saturdays) course prix fixe dinners are served nightly at 6 PM in a refined and cozy space. They last around two hours and include a poetry reading, music, or even a bagpiper on occasion, during the meal. This chef-inspired meal is spendy, $75 for the six courses and $85 for the seven, plus tax and gratuity, but it’s worth every penny.

Our menu included:

  • Diver sea scallops.
  • Potato cheddar potage.
  • Beet & watermelon salad.
  • Sorbet.
  • Prime Angus with sides.
  • Berries, lemon poppyseed cake, and chocolate mousse dessert. 

In-room dining is also available.

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Shopping and Unique Attractions in Hocking Hills

Antique shopping is primo in Hocking Hills, and you can browse for hours. The Logan Antique Mall, 20 minutes from the state park, is my top pick. Hocking Hills Winery and HH Moonshine are two other points of interest for sampling adult libations.

Try a charcuterie board and wine flight, or learn the ins and outs of moonshine making, from mashing and distillation to the filtering process. The Paul A. Johnson Pencil Sharpener Museum should do the trick for those needing a quirky thing to experience.

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Where to Eat and Drink in Hocking Hills

For breakfast, check out Penny’s Pastries for quick eats (cinnamon rolls, doughnuts) or Hocking Hills Coffee Emporium for outstanding coffee, tea, quiche, breakfast sandwiches, and breakfast pizza. Or you can stay for lunch to try the Kentucky Bourbon Meatloaf Melt.

Hocking Hills Diner is a popular eatery, while the State Park restaurant is another. If you are craving pizza, the #1 TripAdvisor choice is Pizza Crossing, though they offer subs, chili, wings, and pasta dishes.

Dinner is delicious at Millstone Restaurant Smoked BBQ, with bacon-wrapped burnt ends on the appetizer menu and every kind of real pit BBQ meat you’d desire on the entree. Sides include Mac & cheese, baked beans, green beans, and much more.

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The Olde Dutch Restaurant

If you are really hungry, The Olde Dutch (in Logan) offers a massive 100+ item buffet daily from 11 AM to 8 PM. You’ll find comfort food faves (including their famous marinated broasted chicken), an arsenal of side items, a well-stocked salad bar, and an impressive dessert station.

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My Thoughts

Hocking Hills and Glenlaurel Inn perfectly combine adventure, relaxation, and indulgence. With so much to see and do in the region, it’s no wonder visitors keep returning year after year.

Whether planning a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a solo trip, Hocking Hills and Glenlaurel Inn have something for everyone. So pack your bags, hit the road, and prepare to be enchanted by the natural beauty of this scenic destination.

Want more to do in Ohio? Check out these posts:

Unique Things to Do in Toledo

Weekend Guide to Canton

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