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I'm Shanmari - elopement crafter and photographer here at Avonture. I'm based out of Ohio and travels worldwide to help couples plan their dream elopement that values their beliefs and authenticity. Reach out anytime if you'd like to chat about yours!

Elope in Hocking Hills, Ohio | The Ultimate Guide on How to Elope in Hocking Hills, Ohio

When I get asked where my favorite place is to elope in Ohio, a Hocking Hills Elopement is what comes to mind, every time. From some of the most incredible waterfalls in Ohio, to the deepest gorges and best treetop overlooks, you truly can’t go wrong choosing to elope in Hocking Hills.

Because of the beauty of Hocking Hills, crowds can become a problem, but as an expert local Ohio Elopement Photographer, I can give you some of my best tips to experiencing a streamlined, amazing Elopement in Hocking Hills.

Eloping in Hocking Hills will give you the most amazing experience, the adventurous options are endless, and the beauty of Hocking Hills will never cease to amaze anyone.

Let’s explore some of the logistics to eloping in Hocking Hills.

Couple eloping in Hocking Hills Ash Cave, the couple is surrounded by the beauty of Ash Cave and bright green trees.

How to Elope in Hocking Hills, Ohio

Eloping in Hocking Hills is a pretty easy process, all you must do is choose a date, a location and apply for the Hocking Hills Elopement Permit. What makes eloping in Hocking Hills great is that you don’t have to hike very far to get to some of the most beautiful locations, there might be some inclines, but they are short and most of the trails are between 1 to 3 miles!

Hocking Hills, Ohio Elopement Permits

Once you have picked the perfect place to elope in Hocking Hills, Ohio, you need to apply for a Hocking Hills Elopement Permit. Unfortunately, just like every other National or State Park, the permit process can change regularly. When I work with my couples for their Hocking Hills Elopements, I make sure to give the park a direct call every time to confirm the process and the allowed Hocking Hills Elopement locations.

The process is usually as follow:

  • Call the Park Office at: 740-385-6841

  • Request the Hocking Hills Elopement Permit in writing, but make sure you apply at least 30 days in advance.

The Hocking Hills State Park,

19852 State Route 664 S Logan,

Ohio 43138.

  • Pay the permit fee, usually around $40

couple in wedding attire embracing each other while there are sun beams pouring into Ash Cave on their Ash Cave Elopement

Leave No Trace on Your Hocking Hills, Ohio Elopement Day

Please follow the Leave No Trace Principles on your Hocking Hills Elopement Day, I cannot stress this enough for this beautiful place. Hocking Hills has a very strict trail policy, you must always stay on the trail, honestly it is not only to keep this place beautiful, but also for your own safety as there are poisonous vegetation and steep cliffs and drop-offs all over the park.

Here’s a few quick pointers to Leaving No Trace on your Hocking Hills Elopement Day:

  • Stay on the trails, there are plenty of obvious trail markers and plenty of signs that say to always avoid certain areas, follow the signs and obey the rules so that areas that are heavily impacted by people can be restored successfully.

  • Leave what you find, don’t pick flowers, or take pretty rocks home. Imagine if every single person that visits Hocking Hills takes a piece of it home, what will be left of it at the end of the day? Rather choose to draw the beautiful flower or let your photographer take a photo of it.

  • Speaking of rocks, please do not carve into the rocks or trees. Hocking Hills are popular for the incredibly beautiful Black Hand Sandstone, where this stone is present there’s waterfalls and ragged cliffs, people often want to carve their names into the stone, please do not carve on any rocks, it is extremely destructive to the stone and the environment.

eloping couple walking on the Rock House Hocking Hills trail on their Rock House Elopement Day surrounded by cliffs and bright green trees and forestry

Where to Elope in Hocking Hills, Ohio - Allowed Ceremony Locations

Possibly my favorite part of this post is telling you where to elope in Hocking Hills, these are some of my absolute favorite hiking trails and views in all of Ohio. My favorite time to visit Hocking Hills in general is at the crack of dawn, during a weekday in Spring when the waterfalls are running at their very best or during fall when the fall foliage are simply breathtaking, I also really love the waterfalls during winter but please use caution as the icicles that forms along the cliffs above trails become monster size and murderous, not kidding!

Ash Cave

An Ash Cave Elopement will never cease to amaze me! If you’re looking for wider views of a very large waterfall that you can also stand underneath, then Ash Cave could be the perfect Elopement location for you! I also highly recommend this waterfall for elopements with family members, the trail is very short and handicapped accessible! Avoid Ash Cave at peak visitation times, the place can fill up quickly so rather choose an early morning ceremony here than a mid-

day one.

Length: 0.5 Miles

Elevation Gain: 111 ft

Route Type: Loop

Pet Friendly: Yes, on leash.

My favorite time to go: Very early in the morning and on a weekday during Spring, Winter or Fall.

*Portions are handicapped accessible.

Hocking Hills elopement couple standing under Ash Cave reaching for the water of the waterfall

Rock House

A Rock House Elopement can make you feel like you are standing in a cave on another planet! Probably the most unique Hocking Hills Elopement location in my opinion and one of the most beautiful. Just use caution as the rocks you walk on inside the cave can be very slick and it is dark in there too! There’s a few doves that live there and the sounds they make can create for a really funny experience too. I am convinced that there could possibly be a bit of a waterfall or two at this spot when there’s enough rain dumped, so possibly during Spring showers.

Length: 0.9 Miles

Elevation Gain: 203 ft

Route Type: Loop

Pet Friendly: Yes, on leash.

My favorite time to go: Very early in the morning and on a weekday during Spring, Winter or Fall.

eloping couple standing in Rock House in wedding attire with the light pouring in through the cracks of Rock House in Hocking Hills

Conkle’s Hollow

Elope at Conkle’s Hollow and say your vows in one of the deepest gorges in Ohio! The vegetation is so thick in places that there’s little to no sunlight that reaches in some deep areas of the gorge. A fun legend about this gorge is that there are still some stollen treasure hidden somewhere from many years ago! You can also opt to go above the gorge and experience some of Ohio’s best treetop views.

Length: 1.2 Miles

Elevation Gain: 72 ft

Route Type: Out & Back

Pet Friendly: No, pets are not allowed on this trail.

My favorite time to go: Very early in the morning and on a weekday during Spring, Winter or Fall.

*Portions are handicapped accessible.

gay couple eloping in Conkle's Hollow in Hocking Hills

Cedar Falls

Eloping in front of Cedar Falls can be a magical experience, this waterfall is very popular for good reason. It is the greatest waterfall in terms of volume in Hocking Hills, people love to use this waterfall to cool down during hot summer days, please avoid entering the water as swimming is not allowed in any of the waterfalls in Hocking Hills. Because of the popularity of this waterfall among locals and tourists alike, I highly recommend a Cedar Falls Elopement during Spring or Fall in the very early morning hours.

Length: 0.9 Miles

Elevation Gain: 177 ft

Route Type: Out & Back

Pet Friendly: Yes, on leash.

Pro Tip: Always avoid Cedar Falls during the summer.

eloping couple embracing each other from behind while standing on a cliff in Conkle's Hollow on their Hocking Hills Elopement day

Old Man’s Cave

Possibly the most popular area in Hocking Hills, the visitor center is also right by this beautiful hike. Old Man’s Cave have romantic bridges and more than one waterfall to admire and take photos with. Eloping and hiking here is popular, make sure to visit in of season.

Length: 0.6 Miles

Elevation Gain: 42 ft

Route Type: Out & Back

Pet Friendly: Yes, on leash.

Pro Tip: Always avoid Old Man’s Cave during the summer.

A couple standing against rocks at Rock House Hocking Hills in wedding clothes

When to Elope in Hocking Hills Ohio


Eloping during winter in Hocking Hills can create for a truly snowy wonderland elopement day, the crowds will certainly be less but be prepared to hike the ragged trails on ice and avoid standing underneath areas where icicles are present. Pack extra layers and crampons on your shoes to stay warm and safe.

Cedar Falls Hocking Hills in Winter


If you want a good flowing waterfall and wildflowers on your Hocking Hills Elopement Day, then eloping in spring might be the perfect season for you. Spring can certainly still bring snow and cold days so be sure to pack those layers and prepare for a possibility of a cold elopement day.

Sun Beams through the Hocking Hills trees


When it comes to advising my couples, I try to let them avoid a summer Hocking Hills Elopement entirely. Summer is the most popular times for visiting Hocking Hills and the numbers can be large, even early in the mornings. It is most likely going to be hard to even find available accommodation too. On top of this, the humidity alone will be unpleasant. Just pick a different season!

The bottom of Ash Cave in Hocking Hills on a winter morning


Breathtaking fall foliage, crisp air, and warm campfires, if that is your vibe then an autumn Hocking Hills Elopement is perfect for you! Be prepared about the fact that many of the waterfalls could possibly be dried up or trickle, this is very dependent on the rainfall and summer heat of the year.

A couple standing on a cliff in Ohio above the trees on their Hocking Hills wedding day

What to do During Your Hocking Hills Elopement

Besides experiencing the most incredible views during your hikes on your Hocking Hills Elopement Day, there’s plenty of great adventures you can have during your elopement in Hocking Hills. Let’s explore some of them.

  • Rent a cute Hocking Hills cabin to stay in and end your day sitting around the campfire or soaking in a hot tub on the porch.

  • Take a step further and stay in one of the iconic Hocking Hills treehouses.

  • Camp at one of the Hocking Hills campsites or experience the fun in glamping.

  • Go on a Hocking Hills ziplining adventure above the trees.

  • Cool off in Lake Logan with a fun swim or a romantic canoeing.

  • Rent some kayaks and go down the gentle Hocking River in Hocking Hills.

  • Do something new together like slack lining or rock climbing on a guided tour.

  • Indulge in a celebratory meal together in a picnic or sit-down form, catered by a local caterer or restaurant and enjoy drinking some Hocking Hills Moonshine to celebrate!

A couple in wedding attire standing on a rock that is sage green surrounded by green plants and large ragged cliffs at Rock House in Hocking Hills Ohio

Elope in Hocking Hills, Because it Will Be Magical!

Choosing to elope in Hocking Hills can truly create for a magical experience, you can’t go wrong with eloping in Hocking Hills if you follow the Hocking Hills Elopement tips and guidance I provided here. From a more laid-back, romantic setting to an adventurous, adrenaline packed day – Hocking Hills has it all!

Thinking of eloping in Ohio and not sure where to start?

An Elopement Photographer crossing through the water at Ash Cave in Hocking Hills

Reach out to me, Shan, an Ohio Elopement Photographer.

I adore to help couples create a wedding day that not only is adventurous and fun but also true to them. As a Hocking Hills, Ohio Elopement Photographer I know all the amazing spots and legalities when it comes to eloping in Hocking Hills, Ohio. Yes, even more than I mention here ;)

Feel free to reach out and we can chat or simply follow along on my adventures with incredible eloping couples on Instagram. Happy Adventuring ;)

Did you not get enough of a Hocking Hills Elopement?

Check out these awesome behind the scenes videos on Instagram:


Elopement Photographer | Avonture Elopem



I'm Shanmari - elopement crafter and photographer here at Avonture. I'm based out of Ohio and travels worldwide to help venturing couples like you plan their dream elopement that values their beliefs and authenticity.

Need help crafting your own elopement day?

 If you'd like help planning your dream elopement day with a ultimate elopement planning guide, personalized location idea list just for you, vendor recommendations, planning and traveling tips and tricks, my never-ending help and guidance and an authentic, documentary approach to photographing your adventure - I would love to help you plan your day from scratch and make all your wedding dreams come true and more.

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