Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve
I’ve been drooling over the instagram shots of Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve for a while, but I was waiting to go. Sometimes I try to save my highest wish list adventures for when Jake is with us, but I got greedy and it ended up turning into an impromptu playdate and hangout with one of my good friends and her two awesome boys. Our oldest kids are only a few months apart and are basically in love with each other. We’ve already begun wedding plans #arrangedmarriage.
We got there a bit early so me and the girls headed out to the Canal Lock Trail to explore the instaworthy trail I’ve been drooling over. The trail was a definitely on the “rustic” side… but overall it added to the fairy woodland feel and the kids always seem to gravitate toward the most overgrown trails. I tried explaining some of the history of the canal locks to Olivia. Her takeaway – that was what people used when the dinosaurs were around and they needed to get away. Errr. Sort of. This trail was neat but fair warning, you have to walk along the road a small stretch to get to it. It made me a little twitchy with the wildlings. Wasn’t a deal breaker but I would have loved to have an extra set of hands.
We headed back to the parking lot and up to the main trail. The Blackhand Trail is a wide paved multi use path that follows the river. In total it’s about 4 miles but we only made it two before meltdowns started and it became very clear we needed to get moving. I can only pack so many snacks and then heaven have mercy. The path has some really neat features, and a really pretty overlook to the river below.
I love how excited the kids are to get on a barely maintained trail and explore, but sometimes its so.nice. to be able to bring the stroller to haul our crap and the kids when they get tired. When I’m hiking with Jake it’s easier because we have one adult to carry Abby when she inevitably wears out, and one adult to carry gear. It becomes much more stressful when it’s only me to haul gear + kids, so I really love finding an awesome shaded paved trail. Ohio is full of so many great hidden gems like this, I can’t believe I never knew these existed until this year.