Welcome to Conkle's Hollow

Conkle's Hollow is one of the most spectacular features within the Hocking Hills region. Its sheer cliffs of Black Hand sandstone rise nearly 200 feet above the valley floor. The deep, cool gorge, which is only 100 feet wide in places and is considered by some to be the deepest in Ohio, has numerous waterfalls cascading over its sandstone cliffs. The Lower Gorge trail was recently redesigned to accommodate visitors of all abilities. The cliff tops with their magnificent overlooks and the quiet gorge beneath offer visitors an opportunity to explore different habitats, each with its own unique plant and animal communities.

About the Conkle's Hollow

About 350 million years ago, this portion of Ohio lay under the waters of a vast inland ocean. Rivers flowing into this ancient sea carried coarse and fine grained sands, depositing them in large wide deltas much like the present day delta at the mouth of the Mississippi River. Over millions of years, these sand deltas were buried by finer textured silt and clay sediments. Eventually these sedimentary deposits were compressed to form a thick hard layer of sandy textured rock, now referred to as Black Hand sandstone.

Great forces of energy within the earth caused the land surface to gradually rise, eventually forming the present Appalachian Mountains. As the ocean waters drained away, the new land surface dried out and became subject to the erosional processes of surface water and climatic extremes.

The newly exposed sediments were weathered away, layer by layer, and washed onto some distant river delta. Today Black Hand sandstone layers are the uppermost of these past sediments and they in turn are being acted upon by erosional forces.

Conkle's Hollow was purchased in 1925 by the state of Ohio in order to preserve its scenic beauty. In 1977, the site was dedicated as a state nature preserve.


Contact Information:

Conkle's Hollow
24858 Big Pine Rd
Rockbridge, OH 43149

Additional Information:
Conkle's Hollow
HockingHills.com - Great site for finding available lodging and activities.

 

History

Conkle's Hollow is a gorge. Water slowly eroded away Blackhand Sandstone, creating the ravine. Sandstone is a very porous substance and much more susceptible to erosion than many other types of rocks. Cliffs, standing approximately two hundred feet in height, surround three sides of Conkle's Hollow. Near the end of the ravine, the cliffs are only three hundred feet apart. Plant life, including hemlock and birch trees and various types of wildflowers, thrive in the gorge.

Conkle's Hollow is named after W.J. Conkle, an early visitor to the ravine. In 1797, Conkle carved his name into the west side of the cliff. According to legend, Indians once hid some money in a small opening on the gorge's west wall. The natives had stolen the money from white settlers rafting down the Ohio River. The opening was located high up on the cliff wall. To reach it, the Indians had chopped down a tall hemlock tree and then climbed up it, using it as a ladder, to hide the money. They then pushed the tree to the ground, so it could not be used again. They chiseled an arrow, which pointed to the money, on the gorge's eastern wall. The Indians intended to use a second tree to reclaim the money, but a storm knocked the tree down before the natives could return for the money. The money, purportedly, has never been found. Many early settlers claimed to have seen the arrow carving on the gorge's eastern wall, but it no longer remains visible.

In 1924, the State of Ohio purchased 146 acres of land in the Hocking Hills. This purchase formally established Hocking Hills State Park. The State of Ohio eventually purchased additional land, including Conkle's Hollow. First owned and operated by the Ohio Department of Forestry, in 1949, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Ohio Division of Parks assumed control of Hocking Hills State Park.

Citation
"Conkle's Hollow", Ohio History Central, January 8, 2007, http://www.ohiohistorycentral.org/entry.php?rec=2962

Special Features
Spectacular sandstone gorge with excellent vistas, spring wildflowers and fern communities.

Facilities
Parking lot, restrooms and 3.5 mile trail system are available. The Lower Gorge Trail is a 1-mile handicapped-accessible trail.
Remember, pets are NOT allowed in the preserve.

Local Directions
Approximately 12 miles south of Logan on State Rte 664, 1 mile north on State Rte 374, and .25 mile east on Big Pine Rd to the signed entrance.