Secret revealed! Hocking Hills roads are where engineers, auto writers like to do test drives

Secret revealed! Hocking Hills roads are where engineers, auto writers like to do test drives

The secret is out, and you can pretend you’re a staffer for one of the automotive buff books in May when the Hocking Hills Touring Association stages its inaugural Cruise Hocking event.

Turns and elevation highlight Hocking Hills roads | Hocking Hills Touring Association photos

Turns and elevation highlight Hocking Hills roads | Hocking Hills Touring Association photos

The secret is out, and you can pretend you’re a staffer for one of the automotive buff books the last weekend in May when the Hocking Hills Touring Association stages its inaugural Cruise Hocking event.L'Ville Visitor Center

The Hocking Hills is a hilly region southeast of Columbus, Ohio, and previously its wonderful roads were a closely guarded secret among Detroit-area auto writers and automakers’ development engineers who needed a good place to conduct road tests.

“With miles and miles of hill-hugging, twisting, turning roads and massive elevations, driving enthusiasts have long flocked to Ohio’s Hocking Hills to enjoy some of the most beautiful drives in the Midwest,” the touring association notes in its news release announcing the first formal Cruise Hocking event May 29-31.

A committee has identified six routes, ranging from half- to full-day duration — one even includes an autocross — for participants to explore and enjoy. For a $50 registration fee, you not only get admission to all activities, but breakfast Saturday and Sunday, dinner Saturday evening and lunch Sunday.

The routes are:

  • Adventurous Hiking — 27 miles of driving, including much of what has become known as the Car and Driver Loop, as well as opportunities to hike to Old Man’s Cave and the Cantwell Cliffs and to see a variety of waterfalls.
  • Hocking Loop — 63 miles on a lop-sided figure 8 route known for its scenery.
  • The Best of Hocking — 78 miles, basically the Hocking Loop with 15 additional miles.
  • Switchback Heaven — 65 miles including both Revenge Road and Snortin Ridge Road.
  • Racer’s Route — 78 miles including a stop at Circleville Raceway Park, where you can participate in an optional — $5 a lap or 3 for $10 — autocross with Buckeye Miata Club members as corner workers and instructors.
  • The Triple Nickle Loop — 165 miles that include Ohio State Route 555, the Buckeye version of the Tail of the Dragon.
    Hocking Hills cruise open to everything from classics to contemporary cars

    Hocking Hills cruise open to everything from classics to contemporary cars

“The Hocking Hills is the ideal place to experience the full capabilities of a car or bike,” said Kevin Claus, Miata club member, owner of Cedar Grove Lodging and one of the primary organizers of the cruise. “The combination of world-class roads, dazzling scenic sites, and the food and music we have planned will make for an unforgettable weekend.”

But it also will share the secret.

“There are some mixed feelings (about that),” Claus said. But, he added, it is time for more enthusiasts to have an opportunity to enjoy their cars on those roads, and for the area to promote itself as an automotive travel destination.

During the weekend, Main Street in downtown Logan, Ohio, will be turned into a live music venue. A show-n-shine car show is also planned. Other local activities include guided rappelling, zipline canopy tours, off-road Segway tours, belly boat fishing, kayaking, horseback riding, golf and spas, as well as shopping, an antique and flea market and a visit to the last working washboard factory in the United States.

For details, visit the Cruise Hocking website.

Sports cars are right at home on Hocking's hills and curves

Sports cars are right at home on Hocking’s hills and curves

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