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Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve, Newark

4.8
State Park · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
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The Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve is a 4-mile-long (6.4 km) sandstone formation through which the Licking River flows in Licking County, Ohio, United States. Located 12 miles (19 km) east of Newark near the tiny town of Toboso, 957 acres (387 ha) along the gorge were designated an Ohio Nature Preserve in 1975. The gorge is a capsule of Ohio transportation history, having hosted canal boats, steam railroads, electric interurbans, and automobiles through the years. It is named for the black hand petroglyph that was found on the cliff face by the first settlers to the area. Black Hand Sandstone is a resistant rock that also forms the backbone of the Hocking Hills region.

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Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
83 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • If you ae in the area and like to hike, canoe or kayak, this is the place. One of Ohio's secret spots to visit. 
    If you ae in the area and like to hike, canoe or kayak, this is the place. One of Ohio's secret spots to visit.  more »
  • There are gorges even in Ohio that are longer or deeper ( Clear Fork, Tinkers Creek) but there simply are not enough positive adjectives in the English language to describe this hidden gem just east.....  more
    There are gorges even in Ohio that are longer or deeper ( Clear Fork, Tinkers Creek) but there simply are not enough positive adjectives in the English language to describe this hidden gem just east.....  more »
  • I visited Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve on Wednesday, September 9. just after noon. I spent around 4-5 hours there. Based on prior research I was really looking forward to visiting and it... 
    I visited Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve on Wednesday, September 9. just after noon. I spent around 4-5 hours there. Based on prior research I was really looking forward to visiting and it...  more »
Google
  • Gorgeous place. Rich history. You have an option of a paved trail with some primitive trail offshoots, or the other side of the river has a dedicated primitive hiking trail overlooking the river. Either option is beautiful and allows accessibility. Wonderful place to just hike and get away.
  • Absolutely one of the most beautiful parks in Central Ohio and what Wiki calls, "a capsule of Ohio transportation history." Native American history dates back, supposedly, to 13,000 BC with the Hopewell Indians - it is cool to stomp around where there could have been ancient civilizations living. There are a bunch of trails the jut out into the woods that give you a splendid view of the nature experience!
  • Alot of people on the walking trail. No dogs on some of the trails. One Trail dead ends at a swamp an there's no walk around. Very peaceful. Didn't see any picnic type area. Beautiful scenery.
  • Offers multiple hiking trails, a paved bike path, along the licking river . The river has easy access for kayaking and swimming.
  • Nice spot for an easy hike, even off the paved path was mild but with good payoff in views & interesting features.

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