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“Wonderful place”

Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve
Ranked #3 of 18 things to do in Newark
Attraction details
Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
19 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Wonderful place”
Reviewed March 12, 2014

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!

Visited May 2013
3 Thank Rumiana K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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49 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Not easy to find, but worth your patience”
Reviewed March 10, 2014

We had a wonderful time at Blackhand today. I have some advice, though. First, go when we did! Go when the leaves are off so that you can see the river, the rock formations, the topography. We got some really nice photos.

Next, read up on the history of the place before you go. It will be well worth it; it's a story with a number of interesting chapters.

Three . . . be sure you know where you're going. If you're on the east side of Newark, turning south from S.R. 16 onto Brownsville Road, stay alert. Before long, you'll turn left on Brushy Fork. Google may not tell you this but take it ALL THE WAY TO GRATIOT ROAD. Turn left on Gratiot and follow it until you come into the little town with the white Methodist Church on the left. Just beyond it is the parking area for Blackhand Gorge. You will not be able to see the big sign if you're coming from this direction. We had to do it all twice, but again . . . well worth it. The toilets are non-flushing and very stinky, and there is no wash basin. Take wipes!

I would have given this experience five stars, but the state of Ohio has chosen to post no directional signs along the way. If you don't have very clear directions, that is a problem.

Visited March 2014
2 Thank Foliageguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port Charlotte, Florida
Level Contributor
20 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Great walk in the woods”
Reviewed December 2, 2013

Hiked the more secluded trail on the other side of the river. Loved the trail as it took you through many different terrains and offered beautiful scenery all along the path. Was an ideal day for a hike, and also was not very busy.

Visited November 2013
2 Thank stoopsytheman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rabat, Morocco
Level Contributor
508 reviews
230 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 263 helpful votes
“Beautiful Park”
Reviewed September 4, 2013

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.

Visited July 2013
3 Thank CDMG123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
45 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Fun place to bike, hike, run”
Reviewed July 24, 2013 via mobile

Blackhand Gorge Nature Preserve is one of my favorite outdoor spots in Central Ohio.

There are several trails for different activities. There's a 4 mile long paved trail that runs down the center. It's popular for walking and biking. It offers some nice views of the gorge and the river without having to go off-pavement, so it's suitable for easy recreation. The trail does have a lot of bumps and cracks (or it did at least last time I was there), so I don't think I'd bring an expensive road bike out here.

If you're into hiking, there are several nature trails. The Quarry Rim Trail forms a loop off of the paved trail. It has some hills, so by central Ohio standards offers a workout. But it's not highly technical hiking, so suitable for novices. And you get some nice views of the old quarry.

The trail on the other side of the river is my favorite. It's about a two mile loop through the woods. You get some river views, some pretty streams, etc. It's generally not crowded, so even on a weekend, you usually have most of the trail to yourself. This trail is good for trail-running, too.

Blackhand Gorge certainly doesn't rival the Hocking Hills when it comes to scenery, but for a short drive from Columbus, it's pretty and relatively uncrowded, and a good place to get some exercise and some time in the outdoors.

Visited June 2013
1 Thank CincySwords
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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