Hocking Hills Tourism Association is preparing for another record-breaking year as hikers and nature-enthusiasts flock by the millions to the busiest park in the state.
In order to accommodate an increasing number of visitors, several new services will be available at Hocking Hills State Park.
Visitors now have a new way to access Hocking Hills State Park: a shuttle from downtown Logan to the most popular sites of the park.
The shuttle from Logan to Hocking Hills State Park began late May and runs weekends from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. until Oct. 28.
There are two shuttles running every 30 minutes. One runs between Homegrown On Main, 44 E. Main St. in Logan, and the Old Man’s Cave campground office. The other runs a loop, making stops at Old Man’s Cave campground office, Ash Cave, Cedar Falls and Whispering Cave.
Visitors can purchase a $10 wristband that is color coded and dated to take the shuttle between locations.
The shuttle is a collaborative effort between multiple agencies, including the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Hocking Hills State Park, Fun Bus and Hocking Hills Tourism Association.
The new shuttle will assist primarily with limited parking near the state park, Audrey Martin, the operations director for the tourism association said.
“This is our first assistance in helping try to cut back on some of the traffic,” Martin said.
In addition, the shuttle will encourage the millions of tourists that flock to Hocking Hills to spend some time in Logan, the Hocking County seat.
“It will help with the revitalization of Logan and get people downtown.” Martin said.
Of the 74 state parks in Ohio, Hocking Hills receives the most-national recognition with an estimated 2 million visitors per year, Ohio Department of Natural Resources Director James Zehringer said.
“With the increase in visitation and busier trails, now is the perfect time to reinvest in Hocking Hills to enhance the experiences of our visitors,” Zehringer said in a news release.
The ODNR broke ground on a visitor center May 10, slated to be completed in December.
“What they have planned at the new visitors center is a lot of workshops and focus on education,” Martin said. “I can definitely see that that will enhance our visitors’ stay.”