Saturday, September 13th, 2014 


Blackhand Gorge - Trails Through Time Race

Blackhand Gorge Trails Through Time

Beginning at the Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve parking area in Toboso, the race winds through various trails at Blackhand Gorge, climbing hills, crossing streams, bridges, and deep gorges, leading uphill and down, through old canal locks and tunnels, and ending with a peaceful jog beside the Licking River. The Blackhand Gorge Trails Through Time race is a race that you won't want to miss.

Trail Series Race Times:

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 race 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!

Trails Through Time Course Descriptions

5K Race Course

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 a few summers ago. 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 then turn left onto the bike path and continue their way under the railroad bridge. About 1/4 mile pass the bridge, runners will find an aid station. From the aid stations, all 5K runners will turn around and run strait back to the start/finish line on the bike path.

10K Race Course

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 aid station past the train bridge. 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 (be careful!). 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 bike path.    

20K Race Course (still being mapped out)

Course description will be posted soon...

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. 

Registration and Contact Information

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. Your registration must be post-marked before September 6th to ensure an event t-shirt in your size. You can also register on race day, before the race. Sign up sheets will be at the cabin before the race begins. Note that race-day registration does not guarantee an event t-shirt in your size.

Registration Options:
  • Print the registration form and mail it in
  • Race day: Register at the cabin (cash or check only - no credit cards)
Registration Fee: 
  • 20K Race = $30
  • 10K Race = $25
  • 5K Race = $20
For more details on the Trail Series call (740) 763-1009 or email


Visit our About Us page, and click the 'Directions...' link on the map.



Registration Form: Print and fill out the registration form and send it in the mail. 

Waiver Release Form: Feel free to print and fill out the waiver release form. You will need have this filled out before running the race, so be sure to bring it with you on race day! Waiver release forms will be provided before the race on registration day, but filling out ahead of time will make your check in process much faster. 

Gold Sponsors
Matesich Distributin Co.

Silver Sponsors
Wilsons Garden Center

Licking Memorial Health Systems

Jerry McClain Company

Park National Bank

Other Sponsors
Front Runner

Ohio Industry Filter Products

The Tax Place

Schmidty's Sunoco

Albyn's Nursery

Stone Church Adventures