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Canoe Rides Through Blackhand Gorge

posted Jun 24, 2012, 10:48 PM by Lucas Hardbarger   [ updated Jun 24, 2012, 10:54 PM ]
On June 11th, 2012, a group of local leaders gathered near the new parking lot off of Rt. 668 to float down Blackhand Gorge. The canoe trip started with a quick meeting where local leaders talked about the potential of Blackhand Gorge and to discuss future plans for this wonderful resource. 

The meeting consisted of representatives from parties in the surrounding area. There were members from Muskingum Watershed Conservancy, Friends of Blackhand Gorge, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, County Commissioners, Licking County Soil and Water, and Licking County Planning Department. The purpose for the float was to educate the community about boating safety as well as bring awareness to the value of quality water. 

Duane Flowers, Kelsey Geiseler, Craig Sforza, Trevor Binkley, Lucas Hardbarger, Jody Holland, and Jerry Newton

Not all members floated down the river, but those that did float down the river were able to enjoy spectacular views of the Licking River. The water was nice and calm and made for a relaxing canoe ride. There were a few stops along the way and a few history lessons were shared with everybody describing the rich history of Blackhand Gorge and it's role in the transportation breakthroughs.

At one point, everybody was able park the canoes on a bank and traverse through a overgrown path up toward the old electric trolley tunnel. Here, some people were simply astounded that so much history has been preserved and hidden from society in this beautiful nature preserve. Not many people are aware of the beauty that Blackhand Gorge has to offer. It was amazing to see the looks on some of the peoples faces who had never seen these landmarks.

Over the next few months, the Friends of Blackhand Gorge plan to host other canoe rides down the Licking River and share the amazing history with the public. Look for more information on as it becomes available.  

For more information about this canoe trip, please visit where you can read the full story and watch a short video.