Hinkle Gorge Preserve

10-acre Spectacular Sandstone Gorge

AOA recently conserved a spectacular gorge in the northern extent of the Hocking Hills geography. We are very grateful to the Hinkle family for donating this unique property and assuring the permanent conservation of a valuable piece of the Hocking Hills scenic and natural landscape. This 10-acre property has a picturesque Blackhand sandstone gorge and protects 1,500 linear feet of riparian corridor along Helber Run, a tributary of the Hocking River. 


The tall sandstone walls of the gorge show examples of crossbedding, honeycombing and salt peter leaching.  Relatively mature forests of oak and maple on the Preserve provide a fine display of fall color.  The Preserve also contains hemlock forest and mountain laurel. 


 An abandoned township road and bridge once crossed the property and the gorge above a small waterfall near the site of an old mill dam.  In 1906, this bridge collapsed under the weight of a 6-ton engine and 2-ton hay baler which resulted in the death of a man.  According to local tradition, this bridge has been haunted by the man who was killed in this bridge collapse long ago.  This bridge was rebuilt and remains in place today.  The foundations of the old mill are still visible along Helber Run at the bridge. 


The Hinkle Gorge property borders AOA’s 106-acre Boesel conservation easement and contributes to AOA’s Hocking River Conservation Corridor Initiative.