One of my reasons for wanting to visit Hocking Hills this year, besides staying in a super cool Caboose, was to try out the new Whispering Cave trail at Hocking Hills. As a family, we’ve been to Hocking Hills numerous times, so it was exciting to know that this time we’d have a new area to check out. The Whispering Cave/Hemlock Bridge Trail opened in May 2017.
The trailhead to the Whispering Cave trail is adjacent to the Hocking Hills Lodge and parking lot. Unfortunately, the Dining Lodge burnt down in late 2016.
You’ll start from the UU and, as I’ve marked on the map, to get to the Whispering Cave, you’ll want to go all the way to the VV (yellow trail). We did not follow the green trail all the way to the bottom of Hemlock Gorge because it was already a steep descent.
You know your family’s limitations better than mine, but completing the Whispering Cave portion was enough for our kids. The boys struggled going up all of the stairs and the steep climb on the return, and our 3-year-old insisted that I hold her because her legs were too tired. I believe I counted approximately 110 stairs, which are always much easier on the way down. Lol.
According to ODNR, the trip is only .8 miles each way, but like I mentioned, there are some steep cliffs. Make sure you wear proper footwear or hiking tennis shoes. If you’re dealing with children under 3, I’d recommend something like a Kelty child carrier– this trail is in NO way stroller-friendly. Check out instead: Best Hiking Trails at Hocking Hills for Kids
The yellow trail (pictured above) is mostly what hugs the cliff as you make your way into the Whispering Cave.
Once you arrive at Whispering Cave, the nerve-wracking descent will be over and you’ll be thankful you made this journey with your kids. The cave is something to marvel at- I’m not sure photos can do it justice. For us, it was less of a Whispering Cave and more of a “scream bloody murder” as C got a splinter from that pretty new fencing. (That’s when you’re thankful for a passerby with a Swiss Army knife).
Also, we visited on a Monday in June, and as you can tell, the site was busy. However, the hike had only been open for one month and it was summertime. I’ll be eager to see how busy this trail becomes on the weekends. Will it be as visited as some of the other Hocking Hills hikes? I’m sure the scenery alone may be the culprit of its popularity!
Have you been to the Whispering Cave yet? Have you been to Hocking Hills with your family?
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Looking for more hikes with kids at Hocking Hills? Here’s my list of the Best Hikes for Families at Hocking Hills.