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Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve '' © Pamela Burns
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USA Parks
USA Parks
Ohio
Ohio
Central Ohio Region
Central Ohio Region
Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve
Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve
BLACKHAND GORGE STATE NATURE PRESERVE
BLACKHAND GORGE STATE NATURE PRESERVE
2200 Gratiot Rd SE
Newark, Ohio   43056
Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve

Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve

Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve
© Gene Shirk 2017

website

Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve

Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve
© Gene Shirk 2017

website

Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve

Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve

Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve
'Whirlpool on pathway'
© Gene Shirk 2017

website

Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve
© Gene Shirk 2017

website

Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve
© Gene Shirk 2017

website

Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve

Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve

Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve

Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve

Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve is a 956-acre area that was dedicated as an interpretive nature preserve in 1975. This dedication process ensures that the area's scientific,educational and aesthetic values will be preserved indefinitely for use by all Ohioans.

The prime feature of the preserve is a narrow east-west gorge cut by the Licking River through the Black Hand sandstone formation. This cross-bedded, conglomeratic sandstone, well exposed in many places, creates a rugged topography. The dry hilltops are dominated by oak, hickory, Virginia pine and mountain laurel. Mixed hardwoods and a lush spring flora abound on the wooded slopes and ravines. The floodplain is predominantly sycamore,cottonwood box elder.
History of the Area
The name "Blackhand," for whichthe preserve is known, originated froma large, dark hand-shaped petroglyphthat was engraved on the face of thesandstone cliff. Many Indian legendswere passed on to early pioneers aboutthe origin of the "black hand." Possiblythe most prominent is the one that says itmarked the boundary of a sacred Indianterritory where no man was to raise hishand against another. The petroglyphwas destroyed in the 1820s during theconstruction of the Ohio-Erie Canaltowpath when canal builders blasted thecliff face.

Historically, the area around thegorge was very important to both themodern Indian and the prehistoricMound Builders. The rich deposits offlint found nearby at Flint Ridge madethe Licking River system a strategicallyimportant transportation route evenbefore the advance of white settlers.By 1929, the gorge had witnessed thepassing of the Ohio-Erie Canal, thesteam powered Central Ohio Railroadand the electric CN&2 interurbantrolley line.

Today the canal boats, trolleys andsteam locomotives are gone. A modernrailroad has been relocated to higherground, but the stark remains of old canallocks still dot the preserve.


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Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
September 29 great day by cab6801
had a wonderful day was family outing everyone had a great time
March 23 Best for enjoying walks among nature.
This park is very beautiful. The trails are easy and well marked. One of a kind.


Area Campgrounds
Wolfies Campground
101 Buckeye Drive
Zanesville, OH
740-454-0925
Area Fishing Related Businesses
Redman Whitetail Preserve
6529 Fallsburg Rd NE
Newark, OH
(740) 345-4986
Licking Valley Coon Hunters
Newark, OH
(740) 323-1134
Big Springs Trout Fishing
5460 Fallsburg Rd NE
Newark, OH
(740) 349-7347
Sak's Cascade Market
599 E Main St
Newark, OH
(740) 345-2040
Newark Live Bait
57 Western Ave
Newark, OH
(740) 349-7310
Area Accommodations (over 15 miles away)
Haven Inn the Hills - Logan, OHCottages and Cabins
Great for a private relaxing get away. Whether you are looking for rest and relaxation with that special someone, or the best cook-out for family and friends Haven Inn The Hills is the answer for you.
45.7 miles from park*
Area Resources
Mohican Amish Country - Glenmont, OHTourism
Offical Guide to Ohio's Mohican Amish Country. How to get there, things to do, local merchants, what to see, places to stay. Explore Mohican State Park. Canoe the Mohican River. Tour the Amish villages of Millersburg, Berlin, Sugarcreek, Walnut Creek and more.
35.5 miles from park*

Current Weather Prediction
Directions
Located in Licking County 8 miles east of Newark on State Route 16, exit southeast on State Route 146 and proceed 1/4 mile to County Road 273. The preserve's entrance and parking lot are 1.5 miles south on County Road 273 just outside of Toboso.

USA Parks
USA Parks
Ohio
Ohio
Central Ohio Region
Central Ohio Region
Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve
Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve