Cantwell Cliffs in Hocking Hills State Park
Cantwell Cliffs area of Hocking Hills State
Park features a deep gorge
with steep sandstone cliffs. The trails wind
there way along the rim, down in the gorge
and through interesting rock formations in
between. In the Spring the area features at
least two waterfalls.
Cantwell Cliffs is located in the northern
reaches of Hocking Hills State Park - 17 miles from Old
Man’s Cave on S.R. 374. Its remote location
discourages visitation, but those who travel
the extra distance will not be disappointed.
Many visitors proclaim the Cantwell area as
the most picturesque in Hocking County.
The erosion caused by Buck Run accounts for
the deep valley, steep cliffs and rock
shelter under the cliff. Approaching the
rock shelter, the trail winds its way
through narrow passageways caused by large
slump blocks that have fallen away from the
main cliff. The most narrow passage has been
named Fat Woman’s Squeeze.
Unique to the Cantwell region is the limited
amount of cross-bedding in the middle zone
of the Blackhand. Usually the middle zone is extremely
cross-bedded but only slightly in the
Cantwell area. Another feature is the number
of concretions that occur on the cliff face.
Concretions occur where the cementing agent,
iron oxide, has been concentrated to such an
extent that the sandstone has been
discolored to a dark reddish-brown.
One can choose to follow the trails of the
valley floor or the rim. A commanding view
of the cliff and rock shelter is offered at
Lookout Point on the east Rim Trail.
Cantwell Cliffs Trail Map (pdf.)