The Ohio Department of Natural Resources cuts the ribbon to unveil the newly repaved 4.2 mile bike path through Blackhand Gorge.
Blackhand is one of the state’s 136 state nature preserves and is the only one that features a bike trail.
More than 100 visitors attended the event that took park in the inaugural bike ride led by ODNR Director James Zehringer. The bike trail, first paved in 1980, winds along the Licking River as it cuts its way through Blackhand Gorge. It was once part of the Erie Canal system and some of the remnant can still be seen from the bike trail.
The bike path was repaved by Enterprise Product Partners after an agreement was reached with ODNR and the Friends of Blackhand Gorge to run the ATEX pipeline through the nature preserve. The deal ensures that no open trenching will be done on gorge property.
The repaving project started September 16 and finished ahead of the scheduled five-week completion date. The work was done by Davis Trucking Inc.