.5 miles (one way), Easy
The paved Conkles Hollow Gorge Trail ventures deep into the gorge, passing by massive cliffs and seasonal waterfalls. As you hike deeper into the hollow, the gorge continues to narrow, slowly decreasing in width to about 200 feet wide. Near the end of the trail you will manuever around a rock formation known as Slump Block before crossing back over the creek. The trail will end at the 25-foot Conkles Hollow Falls, a seasonal plume falls that is the perfect finish to the hike. The gorge is rather inaccessible above the falls, so return to the trailhead the same way you came in.
2.5 miles, Moderate
For those with a little extra time, the Conkles Hollow Rim Trail offers a very different experience than the Gorge Trail, as it circles the gorge’s rim and gives expansive views of the heavily forested valley below. The trail briefly begins with the Gorge Trail then splits off in both directions, I recommend taking the trail to the right (a counterclockwise direction). The trail quickly ascends to the top of the gorge, climbing nearly 200 feet in no more than 1/5 of a mile. From here, the trail is all easy hiking. The trail will closely follow the rim of the gorge upstream, passing over a small creek flowing off the gorge's edge about 1/3 of the way up. You later pass Conkles Hollow Falls and cross over the creek upstream from there and begins to loop back to the trailhead. Although the views of the Rim Trail are unmatched, this trail can be incredibly dangerous and probably isn’t the best hike to take kids on.
Address: 24858 Big Pine Rd, Rockbridge, OH 43149
Attractions: Picnic area, gorge, trails, waterfall
Considered by many to be the deepest gorge in all of Ohio, Conkles Hollow is a rugged gorge quite similar to the heavily dissected ravines of the adjacent Hocking Hills State Park. The gorge reaches depths of over 200 feet and is hardly more than 100 feet wide at some points. The hollow is so deep and heavily forested that sunlight only reaches the valley floor for a few hours a day. The gorge and nature preserve were named after W.J. Conkle, who carved his named into the west face of the gorge at the turn of the 19th century.
Conkles Hollow Nature Preserve
Photo by KellyePhotography
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