The NEW Whispering Cave Trail at Hocking Hills- with kids

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. The Lodge burnt down in 2016, but there are plans to rebuild.

Map from ODNR – red graphics are all mine, lol
The Whispering Cave Trail at Hocking Hills- with kids

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 I do, 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.

The Whispering Cave Trail at Hocking Hills with kids

According to ODNR, the trip is only .8 miles each way, but as 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 Whispering Cave Trail at Hocking Hills- with kids
The cliffs on the Whispering Cave Trail in Hocking Hills, Ohio. Hiking with kids on this trail requires caution.

The yellow trail (pictured above) is mostly what hugs the cliff as you make your way into the Whispering Cave.

The Whispering Cave. This large recess is awe-inspiring and makes all of that time spent near the edge worth it! Hiking with kids at Hocking Hills is doable.
Whispering Cave Trail at Hocking Hills.

Once you arrive at Whispering Cave, the nerve-wracking descent will be over and you’ll be thankful you made this journey with your children. 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 areas? 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?

Need a place to stay?  Check current rates!

Looking for more hikes with kids at Hocking Hills?? Here’s my list of the Best Hikes for Families at Hocking Hills or A day in Hocking Hills with kids.


Whispering Cave Trail- Hocking Hills, Ohio.  Things to know for hiking with kids at Whispering Cave.
Yes, you can hike at Whispering Cave with kids. Use my guide to this Hocking Hills trail before you visit.
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