Beginning at the Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve parking area in Toboso, the Trail Series winds through the various trails of Blackhand Gorge, climbing hills, crossing streams, bridges, and deep gorges, leading uphill and down, ending with a peaceful jog beside the Licking River. The Blackhand Gorge Trail Series is a race that you won't want to miss.
The 20K Run (12.4 mi) steps off at 8:30 am
The 10K Run (6.2 mi) steps off at 8:45 am
The 5K Run (3.1 mi) steps off at 9:00 am
All runners must check-in at the cabin before starting their race. This means that 20K runners, should try to be there well before 8:30 am in order to receive their bib number and be checked in before the race starts.
Same day registration and check-in for pre-registered runners for the Trail Series both begin at 8:00 am. All races begin and end at Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve cabin at the Toboso parking lot. Refreshments will be available for runners after the race.
Walkers are also welcome at the Trail Series!
Runners begin at the cabin and run clockwise around the Blackhand Gorge grass entrance near the Toboso parking lot. This will spread all the runners out before entering the bike path. Once on the bike path, runners will turn left at the first trail head entrance, Button Bush Trail. This is an old trail that has been reopened to the public this summer. This trail dead-ends into the Quarry Rim Trail, where runners will turn left up the hill. Following Quarry Rim trail, runners will see all of the old quarry pits that were dug back in the early 1900's. Quarry Rim trail will bring the runners back out onto the bike path. Runners will turn left onto the bike path and continue their way under the railroad bridge. One hundred yards up the hill, runners will meet The Matesich Aid Station. From the aid stations, all 5K runners will turn around and run strait back to the start/finish line on the old bike path.
The 10K course is the same as the 5K course, except that runners will turn left and head up to High Range Trail from the Matesich Aid Station. This trail will be marked with utility flags placed along the trail and will guide runners past some spectacular views of Blackhand Gorge from one of the highest points in Newark, Ohio. The High Range trail will turn into Chestnut Trail. Once runners meet up with with Chestnut Trail, they will turn left and descend down a very technical rock trail. Runners will stay on Chestnut Trail for 1.5 miles until it meets back up with the bike path. There will be an aid station here and all 10K runners will turn right and run strait back to the start/finish line on the old bike path.
The 20K course is the same as the 10K course, except that runners will turn left at the aid station and run for 2 miles towards the new RT 668 parking lot. Once runners cross the A-Frame bridge at the end of the bike path, they be able to refuel at the Rocky Fork aid station. From here, runners will head back down the bike path towards Chestnut Trail aid station. Runners must do one final loop around Chestnut Trail before making their way back to the start/finish line on the old bike path.
There will be NO award ceremony following the event. Once you cross the finish line, you are done. Please feel free to stick around and cheer on other runners, or take a hike on some of the other trails that Blackhand Gorge has to offer. Good recommendations are Marie Hickey trail and Canal Lock trail.
Online registration is still not an option, but we hope to make it available in the future. For now, you must print out the registration form and mail it in (guarantees an event t-shirt in your size), or wait until race day and sign up at the cabin before the race begins (does not guarantee an event t-shirt in your size).
For more details on the Trail Series call (740) 763-1009 or email Luc@FriendsOfBlackhandGorge.org
Visit our About Us page, and click the 'Directions...' link on the map.
Use the links below to download the registration form to your computer and print it out.