Hocking Hills State Park–Cantwell Cliffs

eBird Bar Charts by Season

Entire Year

Spring Migration (Mar-May)
Breeding Season (Jun-Jul)
Fall Migration (Aug-Nov)
Winter (Dec – Feb)
eBird Hotspot

Hocking County

Hocking Hills SP–Cantwell Cliffs
Coordinates: 39.5395449, -82.5761068
eBird links: Hotspot mapView detailsRecent visits
My eBird links: Location life listSubmit data

lake-county-map

About Cantwell Cliffs
Cantwell Cliffs is located in the northern reaches of Hocking Hills, 17 miles from Old Man’s Cave on OH-374. Its remote location discourages visitation, but those who travel the extra distance will not be disappointed. Many visitors proclaim the Cantwell area as the most picturesque in Hocking County.

The erosion caused by Buck Run accounts for the deep valley, steep cliffs and rock shelter under the cliff. Approaching the rock shelter, the trail winds its way through narrow passageways caused by large slump blocks that have fallen away from the main cliff. The most narrow passage has been sarcastically named Fat Woman’s Squeeze. Unique to the Cantwell region is the limited amount of cross-bedding in the middle zone of the Blackhand. Usually, the middle zone is extremely cross-bedded but only slightly in the Cantwell area. Another feature is the number of concretions that occur on the cliff face.
From Cantwell Cliffs webpage

About Hocking Hills State Park
The natural history of this region is as fascinating as the caves are beautiful. Here, in these sandstones and shales, one can read Ohio’s history from the rocks. The scenic features of the six areas of the Hocking Hills State Park complex are carved in the Blackhand sandstone. This bedrock was deposited more than 350 million years ago as a delta in the warm shallow sea which covered Ohio at that time. Subsequent millions of years of uplift and stream erosion created the awesome beauty seen today.
The sandstone varies in composition and hardness from softer, loosely cemented middle zone to harder top and bottom layers. The recess caves at Ash Cave, Old Mans Cave, and Cantwell Cliffs are all carved in the softer middle zone. Weathering and erosion widened cracks found in the middle layer of sandstone at the Rock House to create that unusual formation.

Other features of the rock include cross-bedding, honeycomb weathering, and slump blocks. The first is noticeable as diagonal lines in the rock intersecting horizontal ones. It is actually the cross section of an ancient sandbar in the delta and was caused by changing ocean currents. Honeycomb weathering looks like the small holes in a beehive comb. They are formed by differential weathering which comes about when water, moving down through the permeable sandstone, washes out small pockets of loosely cemented sand grains. Finally, the huge slump blocks of rock littering the streams tumble from nearby cliffs when cracks widen to the extent that the block is no longer supported by the main cliff.

Although the glaciers never reached the park areas, their influence is still seen here in the form of the vegetation growing in the gorges. The glaciers changed the climate of all Ohio to a moist, cool environment. Upon their retreat, this condition persisted only in a few places such as the deep gorges of Hocking County. Therefore, the towering eastern hemlocks, the Canada yew and the yellow and black birch tell of a cool period 10,000 years ago.
From Hocking Hills State Park webpage

Restrooms and handicap accessible facilities at locations identified on Hocking Hills State Park map.