The Hocking Hills is a deeply dissected area of the Allegheny Plateau in Ohio, primarily in Hocking County, that features cliffs, gorges, rock shelters, and waterfalls. The relatively extreme topography in this area is due to the Blackhand Sandstone (so named because of Native American graphics on the formation near Newark, Ohio), a particular formation that is thick, hard and weather-resistant, and so forms high cliffs and narrow, deep gorges.
Most of the more scenic areas of the region are under state ownership, including:
Hocking Hills State Park
Hocking State Forest
Conkle’s Hollow State Nature Preserve
Sheick Hollow State Nature Preserve (entry by permit only)
Little Rocky Hollow State Nature Preserve (entry by permit only)
Kessler Swamp State Nature Preserve
Lake Logan State Park
Wayne National Forest
Rockbridge State Nature Preserve
The core area also includes two privately owned preserves, Crane Hollow and Camp Oti-Okwa (owned by Big Brothers and Big Sisters).
The geological series that forms the Hocking Hills extends south and west, gradually diminishing but still forming impressive bluffs and gorges in:
Clear Creek Metro Park, part of the Columbus and Franklin County Metropolitan Park District
Tar Hollow State Park
Tar Hollow State Forest
Lake Katharine State Nature Preserve
Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve
The Buckeye Trail, along with the North Country Trail and the American Discovery Trail, passes through the Hocking Hills region.
Also nearby are:
Lake Hope State Park
Zaleski State Forest