Spring Hike at Blackhand Gorge

Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve is one of the hidden treasures of Licking County.  Spring is finally here.  Let's start it off right.

Special Features

  • Geologically spectacular narrow sandstone gorge cut by the Licking River
  • Excellent display of spring wildflowers.

The prime feature of this preserve is a narrow, east-west gorge cut by the Licking River through the famous Black Hand sandstone formation.  It also boasts the only bike trail in Ohio's state nature preserve system; more than 4 miles of bike trail wind through the preserve.

 

We will meet at the main parking lot around 10:00.  We will hike the Blackhand Trail (a paved bike trail) up to the Chestnut Trail.  We'll hit the Quarry Rim Trail on the way back.  All in all this looks like about 7-8 miles of hiking.  Guesstimating about 3 hours.

 

More info:

The preserve is rich in natural as well as early Ohio history.The name Blackhand, for which the preserve is named, originated from a dark, hand-shaped Indian petroglyph which was engraved on the face of a massive sandstone cliff along the north side of the river. The engraving was destroyed in 1828 when canal builders dynamited the cliff face, during construction of the Ohio-Erie Canal, which runs through the gorge. Sections of the canal towpaths and canal locks may be seen from the trails along the river.

The dry hilltops are dominated by oak-hickory mature woods along with Virginia pine and mountain laurel. Yellow birch, cherry birch and eastern hemlock grow on northerly exposures. It is an excellent site for viewing woodland spring wildflowers.

Carpool Info:

We will meet at Buffalo Wings and Rings (6325 E. Broad) at 9:15.

For those planning to meet the group there, here are directions:

Local 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

 

Park Map: http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/Portals/3/publications/brochures/blackhandgorge.pdf  

 

Join or login to comment.

  • Robin

    Good Hike

    March 25, 2013

  • Mike

    It was a bit chilly, but still a great hike. We had some great scenery hiking along the Licking River, and we got to see some eagles and some deer. The Chestnut Trail was a nice challenge.

    March 24, 2013

  • Janis J.

    I hope that you have a safe time of it today if you did go.

    March 24, 2013

  • James G.

    Sorry. I never knew the buckeyes played as early. Wanted to watch the game. I did get to hike yesterday. Hopefully the next one i can.

    March 24, 2013

  • Karen E.

    Getting pretty worried about the weather, especially coming back

    March 23, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry, plans have changed. I can't make it. Next time.

    March 23, 2013

  • Aaron

    Homework not where it should be... have to stay away. :(

    March 23, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hello, I am wanting to attend but I do not drive, so can I carpool with someone?

    March 23, 2013

  • Lisa S

    I didn't realize this was going to be a 7-8 mile hike. Don't thiink I've worked back up to that yet.....

    March 23, 2013

  • John

    Decided the hike is too long too early in the season for my abilities.

    March 23, 2013

  • Dennis H.

    We live in Zanesville and love hiking in Blackhand gorge. Me, my wife and my son are excited about coming out to enjoy the great weather and meet new friends.

    March 23, 2013

  • Phil

    If you are meeting to carpool please note the time to meet is 9:15 a.m., not 10:00 a.m.

    March 23, 2013

  • Chris

    Broke my baby toe last night. Grr.

    March 20, 2013

    • Mike

      ouch!

      March 21, 2013

    • Phil

      I hate that! Have broken the same little toe twice. Hope you heal quickly.

      March 23, 2013

  • Bren

    Next Time :-(

    March 23, 2013

  • Barbara

    I am just starting back. This might be too much for just starting out. Is there a shorter loop?

    March 21, 2013

    • Michelle K.

      I walk here regularly...this is a beautiful area and very easy walk

      March 22, 2013

    • Mike

      you could just hike the bike trail portion. Easy hike.

      March 23, 2013

  • Gabrielle K.

    I'm feeling MUCH better today;-0

    March 23, 2013

  • Gabrielle K.

    I've got a stomach virus:-( I was so looking forward to getting out and moving.

    March 22, 2013

  • Janis J.

    Nancy, you are welcome. I'm just starting back to hiking; so I prefer to start out on a beautiful sunny day! lols

    March 22, 2013

  • Nancy

    Thank you Janis, I'm ok with snow, just not rain...so please someone, mike text me if still on :) Thanks a bunch!!

    March 22, 2013

  • Janis J.

    Winter Storm Virgil is coming in to dump around 3-10 inches of snow is the prediction.

    March 22, 2013

  • Nancy

    Mike can you please send me a text message on sun am letting me know this hike is still on in the am...please...I will be driving from WV (2hours) and saw the weather might be iffy with rain...I do not have access to internet tom or sun...Dont want to miss it!! Thanks![masked]

    March 22, 2013

  • Angela S.

    Question for Mike: Are we meeting at 9:45 or 10:45? It says above that the hike is at 10am, but the meeting time is 10:45. Can you please clarify? I don't want to miss you guys! Thanks so much :-)

    March 22, 2013

  • Laura L

    I am sorry I have to work. I really love BHG!

    March 21, 2013

  • Sarena J.

    Sorry I now have a family b-day party that day and will not be able to come. Bummer. Have fun hiking.

    March 19, 2013

  • Phil

    It's beautiful any time of year. Have hiked and paddled this area many times.

    1 · March 18, 2013

  • Karen E.

    Have been there a couple of times, it's beautiful! (At least in the summer...)

    March 18, 2013

  • Kenny

    Anyone coming from the Dayton area? Looks like a nice park. I would like to go and a ride-share would be so nice.

    March 18, 2013

  • Brit B.

    Darn work. Foiled my plans.

    March 12, 2013

  • Janis J.

    Would love to join this hike, depending as the pace, as this is part of my old stomping grounds. (from Newark/Heath)

    March 3, 2013

  • Char

    Mike, I can help out if you need me.

    February 25, 2013

  • Brit B.

    Nice and close! Long as I'm not working, I'm there!

    February 21, 2013

12 went

Our Sponsors

Create your own Meetup Group

Get started Learn more
Rafaël

We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

Rafaël, started French Conversation Group

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy