Among the most unusual and spectacular formations in the Ohio Hocking Hills are its natural rock bridges. The natural Rock Bridge originated millions of years ago, when Ohio lay under a warm inland sea. Rivers carrying both fine and coarse grained sands settled to the sea bottom. Over the centuries, the accumulating sand thickened, compressed and formed the Black Hand sandstone. Pressure from beneath the earth’s surface caused the land in eastern North America to rise, forming the Appalachian Mountains. The inland sea soon drained away, exposing the newly uncovered rock layers. The natural bridge began emerging in all its grandeur. Wind and rain worked for centuries carving a deep cave-like recess in the Black Hand sandstone. Over the centuries, this ongoing process widened the crevice. All that remains of the overhanging ledge is the narrow rock arch.

The natural arch or bridge known as Rock Bridge is more than 100 feet long and 10 to 20 feet wide and arches 50 feet across a ravine. It is the largest natural bridge in Ohio.

Rock Bridge State Nature Preserve is located off US Route 33, not far from Hocking Hills Canopy Tours, Hocking Hills Farmers Market and Lancaster, Ohio. This hike takes about an hour and a half. Also, if you go canoeing, there is a place to pull over and quickly see the bridge.

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