Ohio’s landscape is steeped in rich history, and the creation and mysteries of Conkle’s Hollow are no exception. By water carving its way through Black Hand Sandstone over many years, this large gorge is one of Ohio’s most popular natural attractions. Named after W.J. Conkle, the man who carved his name in the west canyon wall in 1797, this gorge is even the site of a Native American tale.
The legend tells of a local tribe, most likely the Shawnees, who stole money from white settlers and hid it high up in the cliff wall. It is said that they carved an arrow into the wall that pointed to where the money was hidden, but the arrow has long since faded from the cliffside, and the story now remains a local legend.
Whether you are coming to explore one of Ohio’s most incredible natural formations or you are on the hunt for the mysterious hidden money, Conkle’s Hollow and its two beautiful trails are sure to impress so you won’t want to wait to begin planning your next adventure.
Beginner-Friendly Trails (Lower Trail)
If you’re looking for a short hike, the gorge trail is about one mile long and boasts accessible, beginner-friendly paths. Explore the stone grotto where you can toss around your echo or follow the path back farther to find a small waterfall that trickles its way into a cool, shallow pool. Look up and you’ll see the Black Hand Sandstone that makes up the walls of the gorge, including beautiful layers of sediment dating back to 350 million years ago.
Trail with a View (Upper Trail)
The upper trail is around 2.5 miles long and boasts some of the best vistas you can find in the area. Gaze out over the treetops and enjoy a few minutes in the sun while you rest on a rock face overlooking the gorge below. If you are lucky, you may even spot some wildlife: Chipmunks, deer, and perhaps even the occasional woodpecker.
Conkle’s Hollow has loads to offer those looking for a leisurely day of hiking in the hills. And, for your convenience, there are restrooms available in the park as well as picnic tables for enjoying a light lunch. If you feel like extending your stay in the region, you can also check the availability at Cherry Ridge Retreat – only a short 30-minute drive away!