Blackhand Gorge Trail

EASY 38 reviews

Blackhand Gorge Trail is a 8.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Heath, Ohio that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
8.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
790 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

no dogs

This nature reserve is dominated by oak-hickory mature woods along with Virginia pine and mountain laurel. Yellow birch, cherry birch and eastern hemlock grow on northerly exposures. The name Blackhand, for which the preserve is named, originated from a dark hand-shaped Native American petroglyph that 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. The trail itself is asphault with some rough spots where tree roots are reaching under the surface. There is a "wet" bridge where the trail crosses the Bruchy Fork and may be impassable when the water is running high.

hiking
3 days ago

23 days ago

24 days ago

Lots of interesting topography.

Please stay on the established, official paths at all times. Be very cautious near cliffs.

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome park, great scenery and had excellent weather. Was able to walk the Marie Hickey, Knob Hill, Gorge Rim, Chestnut and Half of the Blackhand Gorge multi use trail.

1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

walking
5 months ago

8 months ago

mountain biking
10 months ago

Great paved trail! There are 3 foot paths, which bikes and pets are not allowed on. Bikes and dogs ARE allowed on the bike path. 2 of the 3 walking paths are closed due to storm damage. There are signs currently up warning of a damaged path. The temporarily replaced part of the pavement with gravel, when it is wet it is very slick for bikes. We completely the 8.8 miles in 1 hr and 27 mins, but we stopped to enjoy the scenery. It's a beautiful place to ride. Definitely recommend.

birding
10 months ago

Good for geology and birdwatching. Went with an OSU earth science class the first time. Pretty basic flat walk, but nice features.

10 months ago

No dogs allowed. All trails were closed except the bike path.

walking
11 months ago

Just went on Sunday, walked the black path (paved) from parking ('A' marker) to 1 mile out ('F' marker) and back, took about three hours with lots of stops for photos, snacks, checking out the bamboo (?) growing along the creek (river?). This was my wife's first hike in quite some time and first for the kids (3 and 4 years old). Everyone had a great time, and I'm sure it has inspired everyone to want to go again. The kids didn't complain at all! They had a lot of fun climbing the rocks near the slot that was blasted through the formation for the train tracks. Quarry Rim Trail and Preserve areas were closed "due to storm damage", according to the signs.

hiking
11 months ago

Monday, June 13, 2016

Its a nice easy hike. I also did the side trails which were nice and not crowded at all. quite a bit of traffic on the main trail, but not bad

walking
Monday, May 30, 2016

hiking
Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Monday, May 09, 2016

Great scenery.

hiking
Saturday, April 30, 2016

Nice hike, with a bald eagle sighting!
I started at the parking lot at the east end of the main trail, near Toboso. I hiked the Quarry Ridge and Chestnut trails going west, returning to the parking lot via the main trail. The Quarry Ridge and Chestnut trails were very nice - wooded trails with a fair bit of up and down. I was there on a Monday morning and saw only one couple while on these two side trails. Both trails had mudholes in spots, some had branch bridges through the mud, some didn't, all part of what makes hiking fun. When you start the Chestnut from the east end of it (at the 'E' signpost, maybe, just past the railroad trestle, be prepared to climb - roughly 90 feet up in the first 150 yards, total rise of 250' in the first .3 miles. After the enjoyable wooded trails, the main "trail" is somewhat boring. The scenery is nice, but I far prefer dirt or natural rocks underfoot. About a mile and a 1/4 west of the parking lot, I spotted a large dark "lump" in one of the dead trees across the river, maybe 1/4 mile ahead of me. I took a quick photo, slowly moving closer and changed to my 200-500mm lens - just in time to get a not great picture of the bald eagle as it took flight (see the pictures I uploaded). All in all a very nice park.

hiking
Monday, April 25, 2016

The paved trail is clean and beautiful! It's really fun that there are some smaller "wooded" trails within the paved one!! I'd definitely go again - maybe bring my bike this time!!