Outdoors >Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve
County Rd 273, Newark, OH | Directions 4305540.070811 -82.227480
A place to leisurely walk along the sandstone ridges carved out by the Licking River. – Overview
Blackhand Gorge received its name because of a mysterious ancient petroglyph of a large hand impressed upon its wall. The handprint was blasted away during canal and railway construction and its origin was never discovered, but the name stuck. The gorge also neighbors a sacred, ancient prehistoric Indian site called Flint Ridge. Palaeo-Indian tribes from all over the country came to gather flint from this generous quarry and adhered to a pact to keep the site a peaceful, shared resource for many centuries. It now stands as a state memorial.
Blackhand Gorge is 981 acres filled with shore, ledge and wooded trails. Its main 4-mile path is paved and frequently used by slow-paced cyclists. It is also one of the few trails in Central Ohio that is wheelchair accessible. The dirt trails provide a bit more of a challenge, with some short, steep climbs. Several trailheads can be found on the paved path.
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