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Ohio
21

Ohio State Parks

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USA Parks
Ohio
Central Ohio Region
Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve
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Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve 1936 © Zanesville
Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve Blackhand Gorge rock art -3 © Bruce Anderson
Could this be ancient alien being viewed by earthling.
Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve Blackhand Gorge rock art -2 © Bruce Anderson
Could this be ancient alien being viewed by earthling. Carving is at bottom of wall.
Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve Blackhand Gorge rock art -1 © Bruce Anderson
Rock art carving of a human-like figure.
Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve © Zanesville
Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve Light holes © Zanesville
Light holes in top of tunnel
Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve © Pamela Burns
Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve © Pamela Burns
Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve © Gene Shirk
Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve © Pamela Burns
Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve © Gene Shirk
Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve © Pamela Burns
Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve © Pamela Burns
Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve © Pamela Burns
Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve © Pamela Burns
Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve © Pamela Burns
Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve © Pamela Burns
Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve © Gene Shirk
Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve © Gene Shirk
Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve Whirlpool on pathway © Gene Shirk
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BLACKHAND GORGE STATE NATURE PRESERVE
BLACKHAND GORGE STATE NATURE PRESERVE
2200 Gratiot Rd SE
Heath, Ohio   43056
(lat:40.0559 lon:-82.2181)
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 which the preserve is known, originated from a large, dark hand-shaped petroglyph that was engraved on the face of the sandstone cliff. Many Indian legends were passed on to early pioneers about the origin of the black hand. Possibly the most prominent is the one that says it marked the boundary of a sacred Indian territory where no man was to raise his hand against another. The petroglyph was destroyed in the 1820s during the construction of the Ohio-Erie Canal towpath when canal builders blasted the cliff face.

Historically, the area around the gorge was very important to both the modern Indian and the prehistoric Mound Builders. The rich deposits of flint found nearby at Flint Ridge made the Licking River system a strategically important transportation route even before the advance of white settlers.By 1929, the gorge had witnessed the passing of the Ohio-Erie Canal, the steam powered Central Ohio Railroad and the electric CN2 interurban trolley line.

Today the canal boats, trolleys and steam locomotives are gone. A modern railroad has been relocated to higher ground, but the stark remains of old canal locks still dot the preserve.




Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
August 27 Bike Trail Needs Grooming by Richard S.
park review stars; one to five The west 1.76 miles of the bicycle trail are seriously in need of grooming. Weeds on both sides of the trail have not been cut back all summer. As a result, the trail is one lane only in several areas.
July 9 Beautiful Pristine Waters by MaryE
park review stars; one to five We kayaked the Gorge on the Fourth of July early in the morning. The cool waters are refreshing and tree cover provides shade to enjoy the day. This location gets crowded on weekends and holidays. We were the only ones in sight at 8:00am.
September 29 great day by cab6801
park review stars; one to five had a wonderful day was family outing everyone had a great time
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Area Campgrounds
Wolfies Campground
101 Buckeye Drive
Zanesville, OH
740-454-0925
Area Fishing Related Businesses
Sportsmans One Stop Inc
3587 Newark Rd
Zanesville, OH
(740) 452-6140
Sak's Cascade Market
599 E Main St
Newark, OH
(740) 345-2040
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
Area Accommodations (over 20 miles away)
businesss listing main photo
Hidden Cave Cabin - Rockbridge, OH
Cottages and Cabins
Hidden Cave Cabin is an authentic log cabin with 2 bedrooms in a private wooded setting. It is located on one of the most scenic drives in Hocking Hills and just 3.6 miles to Rock House and less than 10 miles to Conkle's Hollow and Old Man's Cave.
41.9 miles from park*
businesss listing main photo
Our Life Lodge - New Plymouth, OH
Cottages and Cabins
5 Bedroom, Newly Furnished, Hot Tub. Located on 330 private acres. Wayne National and Zaleski State Forest Both within one mile of property. Over 20 miles of established horse, atv, hiking trails on property.
47.3 miles from park*
businesss listing main photo
Cottages and Cabins
Trickle Creek offers luxury cabins in Hocking Hills. The cabins are situated on nearly 236 acres of secluded cabin rentals in the deep wooded ravines in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Hocking County, Ohio.
36.6 miles from park*
Nearby Hotels
Booking.com

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.

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Ohio
21

Ohio State Parks

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