Saltpetre Cave State Nature Preserve

Tucked away from view is a place called Salt Petre Cave State Nature Preserve. It is a permit only preserve located off of Big Pine Road in Hocking County. There is a weathered path through pine trees that lead to some amazing rock formations. There are three large recess cave areas.

Follow the rock wall to the left and through a cut in the rocks, and you will find the most cave-like formation. Bring a flashlight, and explore the recess.  It is deep, and the walls are covered with the white potassium nitrate for which the cave is named. The caves were mined for salt petre in the 1800’s.

Follow the trail back the way you came, and follow the rock formation to the end. Go around the end of the rock wall, and follow the edge of the cliff to the steps.  Follow this set of steps down. To both the left and right of the steps are recess caves.

To the left is also a waterfall that has a wonderful flow after a rain. To the right is also a waterfall and appears to have a flow during all but the driest of weather.

Great care must be given about safety. The fragile rock formations can be damaged and a fall on the steep rocks could be devastating.


For more information please visit the ODNR page.

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