Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve

Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve

Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve
4.5
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles84 reviews
Excellent
55
Very good
26
Average
3
Poor
0
Terrible
0

Paul S
Marion1,565 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2020
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 of Newark and just south of the highway. Everyone whizzing by doesn't know what they are missing. It is so close to civilization yet relatively remote so you should have a regular map along as the gps routed us to a locked gate on the dirt road leading to a couple trails olong the north side bluffs. This portion of the preserve is above the cliffs and across the river from the path through the gorge we were trying to reach. To save you some frustration, here are better directions. To reach the west trail head, follow the signs for Flint Ridge. Turn left after crossing the LIcking River and then take another immediate left to the gravel parking lot (no facilities). It is just over four miles to go through the entire gorge so a car shuttle to the east lot would be a good idea. If you are short on time or stamina, the deepest part of the gorge is less than a mile down the paved trail from the paved east lot which also has pit toilets. To get to this side, take the Gratiot exit (hwy 278) south from hwy 16. The parking lot will be on the right after you cross the river. Scenic and historical sites are designated and posted with a letter starting at A and distances between each point are clearly marked as well. The main path is fine for strollers and wheelchairs although I would not recommend either on the dirt paths on the side hikes, especially the quarry rim trail. Dogs are allowed ON LEASH on the primary path as well but not on the other routes because the area is a state nature preserve.
Written October 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Previa1994
Chicago, IL6,399 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2020
The Blackhand Gorge Trail in Heath is built on a former rail corridor and so grades are gentle. The trail is asphalt paved, well signed, and is 4.3 miles long. The trail runs on the southern side of Licking River and through the gorgeous Blackhand gorge. Thick forest vegetation provides complete shade for the trail and it remains surprisingly cool. Cyclists, hikers and other trail users will be treated to views of the adjacent river, the gorge, and high rock walls and bluffs. Evidence of the railroad history of the area is obvious as you pass through huge pieces of blasted rock. There are also nature hiking trails branching off from the main paved trail. Plaques along the trail provide history of the old railroad and of quarries in the area.

Parking is available at both ends of the Blackhand Gorge Trail. At the larger eastern parking lot, there is a historic log cabin, but I did not find any signs telling what it is. Blackhand Gorge Trail is one fully enjoyable trail for all.
Written July 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

thomp1959
Delaware, OH752 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2014 • Family
My wife scores on attractions we should visit! The trail seemed to be a disappointing paved walkway with only woods - where is the gorge - for the first 1/4 mile or so. Then magically, the paved path has side unimproved trails and the river makes its appearance. We took the Quarry Rim Trail and absolutely loved it. My nearly 3YO son was asleep in the backpack carrier on my back; otherwise, I think we'd have had to stay on the paved trail. The trail wound up and around and has reminders to stay on it that are clearly ignored as people seek overlooks and other tremendous views. The views the trail offers are well-worth the effort required.

We only covered about a mile of the park path but loved it and are talking about returning. If physically challenged and not up to unimproved trail hiking, the paved path is sufficient and has plenty to offer as well - after the first 1/4 mile. About 3/4 mile out you see the cliff where the namesake Black Hand cliff carving pointing ancient Native Americans to Flint Ridge once was - destroyed for a canal tow path. Additionally, shortly before you reach 1 mile, the path takes the old B&O railroad path blasted through the sandstone - cliffs on either side - NEAT!

Overall the map shows the paved path length at a little over four miles. Signs warned the path was closed for safety at three miles.

The maps also show another harder-to-get-to trail on the other side of the river. We want to check it out.

The parking area is relatively small. It requires a drive to get there. There is a building with toilet facilities; however, it smelled so foul we didn't check it out.
Written July 19, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rumiana K
Columbus, OH182 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2013 • Solo
I visited Blackhand Gorge last spring and liked it so much it became my regular weekend retreat place. The trail along the river is so beautiful! Start from the east side and go west - there are the most beautiful spots. The western oart of the trail is not so nice. Altogether - a wonderful walk in an amazing landscape!
Written March 12, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Adam B
12 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2018 • Family
The paved trail is an easy ride even for our kids. We take the time to park the bikes and do a little hiking on some of the side trails. Check the map before taking the side trails a couple of them are quite long and not going to be good for younger kids. Park is clean and well maintained.
Written February 13, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Errin J
22 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2016 • Solo
I've done this stretch quite a few times because it's convenient and absolutely gorgeous! Easy in and out at the livery. It's about 1 1/2 hours from Brownsville to the gorge and 3 hours if you put in at Staddens Bridge. There's a couple shallow spots that give you a little trouble but not bad at all and the views in the gorge will not disappoint.
Written January 13, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

arussell250423
Zanesville, OH23 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We live in zanesville and we did not realize that we lived so close to such a nice state park! The trails are great! There are also a few places off the trail where there are some nice waterfalls! Right now after mile 3 they have the trails closed which we were a little bummed about but we were satisfied for the most part! We will definitely be going back! I'm sure it's beautiful in the fall!
Written May 3, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

justsueNewark
Newark23 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2014 • Friends
Great area for walking.... after about 20 minute slow walk you will find the interurban tunnel, carved out of sandstone. It's amazing.
Written January 10, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CDMG123
Cairo, Egypt633 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2013 • Solo
Driving from Columbus, even with a GPS, i still managed to get lost. But the journey was worth it to come out to this delightful little park. The scenery is beautiful as you walk 4 miles along the Licking River. There are side trails that give a nice non-paved tour around and old quarry. The best part of this park, however, is the old lock #16 from the Ohio and Erie canal.
Written September 4, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Scenic556363
4 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2018 • Solo
Nice paved trail for taking a long walk (about 4 miles if you do the whole thing). I like to go there when it is wet or snowy and don't want to trudge through my own woods and get my feet muddy. Nice side trails too that are through the woods and/or on top of the old quarry. Pet friendly on the paved trail but not on the side trails (since it is a nature preserve). Another trail across the river goes by an old lock system and through a massive railroad tunnel that is no longer in use. Very safe and pleasant bike/hike trail.
Written September 30, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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