Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve, Newark

#2 of 10 in Things to do in Newark
State Park · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
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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82 reviews
  • 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...  more »
  • Nice straight paved trail that runs along the river. Very busy when we went on Labor day. Some hiking trails off the main trail that offer nice views. Great place for younger kids on bikes.
  • I love visiting Blackhand because of the variety or trails. There are absolute beginner trails and then some more challenging ones to hike as well. The views are varied and absolutely stunning on every trail and the historical aspects of it are wonderful and fascinating as well.

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