Conkle’s Hollow is a deep rocky gorge in Hocking Hills and is regarded as one of the deepest in the state. It forms part of a series of amazing rock formations that have made Hocking County such a worthwhile destination for hikers and those who love the outdoors.
The Conkle’s Hollow Trail has two elements, the Conkle’s Hollow Trail and the Conkle’s Hollow Rim Trail. Here we are talking about the former. We will discuss the latter another time.
The Conkle’s Hollow Trail runs along the ravine floor. On either side, the cliffs run at anything up to 200 feet above you and narrows to a point only 300 feet wide. The gorge is so deep and the undergrowth so thick that sunlight is quite scarce along the sides of the canyon.
Depending on when you visit, it is possible to see ferns, wildflowers, hemlock, birch and other hardwood varieties. The cliffs are the main draw though and profile an ever-changing vista of sandstone as you walk along.
The Conkle’s Hollow Trail itself is well maintained and accessible for everyone. It is also wheelchair friendly, so it really is for everyone. The trail is 1.5 miles long and runs fairly flat down the length of Conkle’s Hollow. It ends ¾ a mile later at a seasonal falls, then you turn round and come back again. There is enough to see here that doubling back isn’t the chore it could be and is one of the charms of this hike.
Conkle’s Hollow is steeped in local legend, which makes the area even more characterful. Legend says a petroglyph was found pointing to one side of Conkle’s Hollow. A group of Indian raiders had allegedly robbed a group of settlers and hid their loot in a recess in the cave. They carved the arrow to help them find it once more. The hide was apparently halfway up the cliff face, accessible only by climbing one of two hemlock trees in front.
They cut one to make a ladder to the other and climbed and hid their loot in the cave. They then dropped the tree so only the one remained, which promptly was felled by a storm. The legend says the hoard is still somewhere in the cliffs on the west side of the gorge.
Whether any of the is true or not is beside the point. The Conkle’s Hollow Trail is a great hike for all abilities and takes in some of the best geological sights in Hocking Hills. IF you’re in the area, you should definitely take a trip out there to see it for yourself.