The hiking/biking trail at Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve will temporarily close on August 31, 2022, for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Natural Areas and Preserves to make repairs and stabilize the streambank of the Licking River.
Public access will be restricted from mile marker 3, west to the Brushy Fork parking area, which will also be closed. The trail and Brushy Fork parking area are scheduled to re-open in mid-November 2022, or once repairs are complete. All other preserve trails will remain open.
Over the past several decades, the Licking River has changed to the point of impacting the very popular, paved hike/bike trail, causing temporary trail closures. Significant repair and restoration work is now required to protect the river and allow visitors to continue to enjoy one of Ohio’s most iconic landscapes.
The project will be carried out in phases. This initial phase will focus on preventing further erosion and damage through the use of a rock stabilization wall. Once the stabilization wall is in place, additional phases focusing on long-term remedies can be designed and implemented.