LOGAN, Ohio – Dazzling scenery and memorable holiday experiences make southeast Ohio's Hocking Hills the perfect place to escape the crazy, commercialized holiday hustle and bustle this season. There's no more magical way to step away from hectic holiday hubbub than a moonlight stroll back into majestic Ash Cave. Held Dec. 9 from 5-7 p.m., the annual event begins with a lantern-lit walk through the cave. Visitors can warm up around a cozy fire while sipping refreshments, as the sounds of carolers reverberate through the cave. A visit with an old-fashioned Santa and the chance to decorate a Christmas tree with treats for wildlife make the experience truly unforgettable for young travelers.
This year, treasure hunters can increase their chances of winning by participating in the Holiday Treasure Scavenger Hunt Instagram Challenge. To be eligible, visitors must take a photo of the #HockingHillsPaintedRock (one is hidden in each participating store) and post the photo to their Instagram account, tagging the location and using hashtags #HockingHolidayTreasures and #HockingHillsPaintedRocks. The two travelers who visit and post from the most stores will win one of two stunning hand-carved official Hocking Hills Tourism hiking sticks.
Every Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 17, visitors can embark on a historic holiday train ride with Santa on the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway. Each train car will be decorated for the holidays and Santa will visit with passengers as the train traverses the magical, snow-covered Hocking Valley. Visitors will love the festive holiday spirit of North Pole Nelsonville, home of the Scenic Railway, with its lights, décor and charming galleries and shops.
On Saturday, Dec. 2, the Downtown Logan “Petacular” Christmas Parade will meander through downtown Logan, starting at the Hocking County Fairgrounds and culminating at the Tractor Supply parking lot. Bands, businesses and pet-themed parade floats will fill the town with cheer, along with a special visit from Santa following the Parade. The fun-filled afternoon will end with the lighting of the downtown Logan holiday lights.
Located 40 miles southeast of Columbus, Ohio’s Hocking Hills region offers once-in-a-lifetime experiences that make every day feel like Saturday, with plenty of Admission: FREE activities. The region boasts a wide variety of affordable lodging, from camping, cabins and cottages to hotels and inns. In addition to hiking trails, parks and forests, the Hocking Hills is the zipline capital of the Midwest, with 50 ziplines being offered via three distinct guide services. Unique gift and antique shops, canoeing, horseback riding, golf, spas and more add to the allure of the Hocking Hills as the perfect place to unplug. Complete traveler information is available atExploreHockingHills.com or 1-800-Hocking (800-462-5464).