Large Loop: Visitor Center to Lower Falls, Upper Falls and back Visitor Center - 1.5 miles.
Small Loop: Visitor Center Loop through Old Man's Cave and back to Visitor Center: 1/2 mile.
Towering cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and a hemlock-shaded gorge. Old Man's Cave is one of seven distinctly unique hiking trail areas of Hocking Hills State Park.
Locals named the gorge you see today "Old Man’s Cave" for a hermit who lived with his dog above Cedar Valley Creek and died in 1777. Two boys discovered the bodies in the cave around the 1800s, and newspapers documented that the man's name was Retzler and the dog's name was Harper. Travelers visited the remains of the old man and his dog for years until locals buried both in an unmarked grave. His ghost has long been seen walking the trails and would even greet passerby. At night, Retzler’s ghostly hound bays along the creek in the gorge, but no one has ever been able to see it. Some sources call the hermit “Richard Roe” (which in legal terms is a fictitious name given when a true name is unknown), this surname was not used to identify the hermit until the 1970s. The earliest sources from the 1800s/1900s distinctly call the man “Retzler.”