It’s a universal truth, everything’s better by moonlight. The Hocking Hills Canoe Livery, roughly 30 miles southeast of Columbus, has taken that to heart and during the summer offers a handful of guided moonlit floats down the scenic Hocking River.
The floats start at sunset on nights where there’ll be a full moon. As the sun goes down and the moon comes up, you and the guides navigate the river illuminated only by moonlight. The tour ends at the livery, where staff welcomes you with a roaring bonfire and s’mores. That’s when the music starts. A local bluegrass band joins in the fun and you get to enjoy great live music and dancing for the rest of the night. It’s a fun way to spend an evening on the road.
On nights where there’s a new moon, the livery now offers night floats illuminated by glow sticks. The New Moon Glow Floats are held on the nights when there’s no moonlight and paddlers head down the river by the glow of chemical luminescence. Just like the moonlight tours, the new moon canoe trips end at the livery with a crackling bonfire and a bluegrass band so you can dance the night away or while away the evening watching the fire and listening to great local music.
Hocking Hills Canoe Livery strongly recommends you reserve your spot on the tours; they’re popular. The website www.hockingriver.com/moonlit-tour has the specific dates for the season’s floats. You can make your reservations by calling 740-385-0523 or by emailing info@hockingriver.com.
The floats start at 7 p.m. and end pretty late into the evening. Luckily, the Hocking Hills Canoe Livery offers onsite camping, so you can easily just head back to your trailer after the evening is done. Camping is $32 a night.
The moonlit canoe tours can be one of the most unique ways to experience the Ohio countryside. And they can also make for a nice evening adventure, breaking up the road-trip routine just a little bit. Either way, you won’t regret the stop.

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