Source: US State of Ohio
(LOGAN, Ohio) — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Natural Resources Director Mary Mertz today opened the new Hocking Hills Visitor Center at Hocking Hills State Park.
The new visitor center includes 8,500 square feet of indoor space as well as upper and lower covered verandas that add 5,000 square feet to the building. The center provides space to learn, explore, and plan a visit to Hocking Hills State Park.
“All of our state parks are truly wonderful and unique, and they are free for families to enjoy,” Governor DeWine said. “Hocking Hills is among the most scenic. The region attracts millions of visitors each year, and the new visitor center is a place where people can come to learn, explore, and plan their time here.”
The Hocking Hills Visitor Center features interactive exhibits on both the upper and lower levels that will help guests learn about the unique nature and history of the Hocking Hills region.
“We are proud to welcome more than 4 million visitors annually to the Hocking Hills region and showcase the true beauty and majesty of this area,” said ODNR Director Mary Mertz. “Hocking Hills State Park is stunning year-round, and this new visitor center will highlight the wonders for everyone to see.”
Displays located on the upper level of the building focus on helping visitors: plan their day; navigate the Hocking Hills State Park, the Hocking State Forest, and nearby state nature preserves; learn about the trails systems; and address the safety considerations of hiking the trails. The lower level of the building takes visitors through the history and ecology of the Hocking Hills region. A large-scale cave built into the center of the room gives visitors a one-of-a-kind experience learning about the unique geology of gorges in the area.
Restrooms and water bottle filling stations are also located on the lower level, and a visitor information desk and gift store are located on the upper level.
Visitors to the center also will learn about some of the little-known wonders and history of the Hocking Hills area and how the state’s foresters and Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) played a central role in preserving and protecting the wonders of the region for future generations.
Recently, Hocking Hills State Park was highlighted in the New York Times. The writer described it as “ethereal and mystical.”
For photos and video of the new Hocking Hills Visitor Center, please visit this link.
Additional information about Ohio State Parks is available on ODNR’s website.