Hocking Hills: A Legend in Stone

Unexpected and Spectacular Rock Formations in Ohio
By Elaine Neumeier

The unlikely story of the head of a Sphynx peering out of a rock formation near the City of Logan in Eastern Ohio begins over 330 million years ago. At the time the Atlantic Ocean covered that part of what is now the Central United States. When the waters receded, vast deposits of soft sediment, silt, gravel and sand were left behind. The layers settled and formed the black hand stone, as the layered rock which remained is called today. Ten thousand years ago the Wisconsin glacier began to melt. The waters flowed like blood southward, scarring the land. Rushing, the glacial streams cut and cracked the stone. Overhangs and recessed caves, gorges, rock shelters and water falls were created. In 1924, 146 acres of the incredibly beautiful area was purchased by the State of Ohio and established as Hocking Hills State Park, named for the nearby Hocking River. Hocking derives from the Shawnee language and translates roughly as “bottle neck” or “gourd shaped.” This references the curving path of the river bed.

The full article can be found on page 134 of The Witches' Almanac Spring 2020-2021 - Stones: The Foundation of Earth