Tucked in the forests of Ohio, you’ll find a park filled with rushing waterfalls, impressive caves, and hemlock-lined trails – Hocking Hills State Park! The lush woods and flowing streams will make anybody feel like they’re stepping right into a fairytale. If you’re looking for a serene wedding day surrounded by nature, a Hocking Hills elopement might be for you!
Here’s what you’ll learn in this Hocking Hills Elopement Guide:
- The Best Places to Elope at Hocking Hills State Park
- Weather & Seasons – The Best Time to Elope at Hocking Hills
- Hocking Hills Elopement Permits
- Places to Stay During Your Elopement
- Hocking Hills Elopement Packages – Ready for a day that’s intentional, unique, and all about you?
The Best Places to Elope at Hocking Hills State Park
Whether you end up tying the knot at the base of a waterfall or saying “I do” under the arches of a sandstone cave, one of the most exciting parts of eloping is deciding where your perfect elopement location is. Here are a few of the best places to elope at Hocking Hills State Park!
One of the coolest spots in Hocking Hills is Ash Cave! A waterfall drops down just outside the mouth of the massive horseshoe-shaped cave, surrounded by towering hemlocks. The loop trail is only 0.5 miles and super accessible, so it’s great if you’re going to have a few guests at your wedding. Because it’s an easy trail, it can also get very busy, so I’d recommend going there during the week or at sunrise or sunset to avoid the crowds.
Plummeting from Queer Creek, Cedar Falls is the biggest waterfall in Hocking Hills. The trail is only 0.5 miles, but the steep steps make it more of a challenge. Spring or fall are the best times to visit to avoid the crowds, and to make sure you’ll get to see it flow! In the winter, the waterfall becomes more of an icefall, which is still beautiful!
A few other trails branch off from the main Cedar Falls trail, so even if it’s busy in some places, you’ll find plenty of spots for your photos. Take the Gorge Overlook Trail to get to higher ground so you can view the waterfall from the top!
Rock House is undoubtedly the most unique area in Hocking Hills. The arched windows, huge sandstone columns, and long corridors were all built by nature itself, creating some incredible backdrops for tying the knot. The Rock House Trail is only about 1 mile long and loops between the upper and lower parking areas. The stairs on this trail are steep, but the gorgeous views are well worth the trip!
Weather & Seasons – the Best Time for a Hocking Hills Elopement
Like most of the midwest, the weather at Hocking Hills changes a lot with each season. The drastic change in the crowds, weather, and landscape means your wedding day can look very different depending on when you have your elopement! Before you decide on a date, let’s look at the key differences so you can know what to expect in each one.
Summer in Hocking Hills is hot, humid, and very crowded. Crowds drive up the cost of activities and lodging can be scarce, so summer isn’t the ideal time to tie the knot in Hocking Hills. If you’re still hoping for warm weather but want to avoid the summer tourism surges, early fall is a great time to say your vows! Plus, the fall colors create a beautiful backdrop for your ceremony.
Freezing temps create a winter wonderland in Hocking Hills. Snow falls, the waterfalls freeze, and the crowds disperse with the cold weather, so it’s a great time for a wedding at Hocking Hills. When spring rolls around, the park begins to thaw, the waterfalls start to flow, and the wildflowers bloom. The weather is a bit warmer, but it’s still pretty rainy in the spring so be prepared with layers and waterproof clothes.
Hocking Hills Elopement Permits
Having your ceremony at Hocking Hills requires a permit. You can apply for a permit by calling the park office, but you will need to have a few dates in mind in case your first choice is unavailable! They’ll have you fill out a form and pay a small fee to have your ceremony.
To get legally married, you’ll also need to apply for a marriage license in the state of Ohio – you can learn more about Ohio marriage laws in my Ohio elopement guide!
Places to Stay During Your Hocking Hills Elopement
Whether you’re a Buckeye state local or traveling to Hocking Hills to get married, turning your elopement into a romantic getaway is easy with all the options for places to stay near the park. Romantic cabins, rustic camping sites, warm fires, and relaxing hot tubs… whatever your vibe is, you’ll find the perfect place for winding down after you say your vows!
Hocking Hills Cabins
Surrounding Hocking Hills State Park, you’ll find an array of secluded romantic cabins with hot tubs, fire pits, and saunas all within minutes of all the best hiking areas of the park. Discover the unique cabins of Hocking Hills including tree houses, log cabins, tiny cottages, and even a few family lodges for a bigger event!
Camp in the Park
Looking for a more rustic adventure? Try camping at the Hocking Hills Campground! They have over 150 campsites available including drive-up sites, walk-in sites, primitive sites, and cozy cabins right inside the park.
Just outside of the park, you’ll find all sorts of Airbnb rentals, each with their own character and charm! Relax in a bubbling hot tub while listening to the sounds of the wildlife at the Honey Bear Hideaway or cozy up by the fire while you look out the huge windows at one of the modern cabins at the Idyll Reserve.
Hocking Hills Elopement Packages
If you’re ready to plan a wedding day that is fun, intentional, and all about you, I’m ready to be your biggest supporter! My Hocking Hills elopement packages are curated for you to include everything from location scouting to planning an elopement timeline, and beyond.
Contact me to start planning the elopement of your dreams, and to learn more about my Hocking Hills elopement packages!