Friends of the Hocking Hills State Park

Old Mans CaveHistory of Old Man's Cave

Old Man’s Cave derives its name from the hermit Richard Rowe who lived in the large recess cave of the gorge. His family moved to the Ohio River Valley around 1796 from the Cumberland Mountains of Tennessee to establish a trading post. He and his two dogs traveled through Ohio along the Scioto River in search of game. On one side trip up Salt Creek, he found the Hocking Region. Rowe lived out his life in the area and is believed to be buried beneath the ledge of the main recess cave. Earlier residents of the cave were two brothers, Nathaniel and Pat Rayon, who came to the area in 1795. They built a permanent cabin 30 feet north of the cave entrance. Both brothers are buried in or near the cave. Photo: Devil's Bathtub

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About Our Parks

Perhaps no other area in the state of Ohio is as wild, romantic and picturesque as Hocking Hills State Park. In the parks you will discover amazingly massive sandstone outcroppings, deep cool gorges, towering hemlocks and glistening waterfalls that characterize the Hocking region. Abundant wildlife including white-tailed deer, barred owls, ruffed grouse and an occasional bobcat make the wooded ravines and ridge tops their home. In spring, the early morning hours come alive with the gobble of the wild turkey. The lush undergrowth contains a profusion of ferns, shrubs and wildflowers including roundleaf catchfly, lady’s slipper orchids, devils walking stick and sullivantia that are some of the state’s rarest and most unusual plants.

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