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Ash Cave in Hocking Hills State Park - Ohio

Ash Cave, largest recess cave in Ohio, is part of the Hocking Hills State Park located on St. Rt. 56 just west of St. Rt. 374. Ash Cave is one of the main attractions in the Hocking Hills and a common place for weddings. Ash cave is also wheelchair accessible.

                       Hocking Hills State Park-Ash Cave

Ash Cave gorge is close to one-quarter mile long and is located in a gorge of Black Hand Sandstone. Ash Cave resulted from thousands of years of erosion caused by glaciation and a tributary, called Queer Creek, flowing through the gorge. Hocking Hills Black Hand Sandstone is very porous and erodes easily compared to other forms of rock. The water erosion created a seven hundred feet long, one hundred feet deep, and ninety foot high recess which is now called "Ash Cave". There is a picturesque waterfall that falls around ninety feet.

When early white settlers discovered the cave they came across a considerable amount of ashes receiving the name "Ash Cave". Ash piles reached one hundred feet long, three feet deep, and thirty feet wide. The cave was believed to shelter Indians and the ash remains were from their many campfires. Archaeologist has evidence that supports these theories. The Shawnee Indians used Ash Cave to rest as they travelled between today’s West Virginia and Central Ohio. Ash Cave was used by the early white settlers as a church, until they could get their own built.

The 146 acres of Hocking Hills land was purchase in 1924 by the State of Ohio. Hocking Hills State Park was established at that time. The State of Ohio bought additional land adding Ash Cave to the Hocking Hills State Park. In 1949, the Ohio Department of Forestry owned and operated Hocking Hills State Park. The State Park is now operated by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Ohio Division of Parks.


View Ash Cave Map  Ash Cave Trail Map (pdf.)