Description - Rockbridge Natural Bridge originated millions of years ago, when Ohio lay under a warm inland sea. Rivers flowed into the vast body of water, carrying both fine and coarse grained sands which settled to the sea bottom. Over the centuries, the accumulating sand thickened, compressed and formed the hard sedimentary rock known as Black Hand Sandstone. Eventually, great 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 to steady erosional processes. The natural bridge soon began emerging in all its grandeur.
Copyright: - Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Rockbridge Nature Preserve
- The natural arch or bridge known as Rockbridge is more than 100 feet long and 10 to 20 feet wide and gracefully arches 50 feet across a ravine. It is considered the largest natural bridge in the state. Only the Ladd Natural Bridge in Washington County rivals it in size.
Recreation - Nature study and hiking are enjoyed above the west bank of the Hocking River on this relatively unused public parcel where Ohio's largest natural arch and a recessed cave have been used for centuries.
Climate - This state has four distinct seasons and a brilliant fall foliage display in it southern woods during mid October. Winter lasts from December through February with average temperatures near 25 degrees F. Low temperatures dip to single digits, but do not often drop below zero. Northern regions of the state receive average snowfall amounts of 55 inches, while the central and southern regions of the state receive lesser amounts with averages near 30 inches. This difference is caused by lake-affect moisture patterns.
Spring temperatures begin to warm the landscapes of Ohio by mid March and are in full swing by April. Temperatures range from 40 through 70 degrees F through the spring months. This season often brings the most rainfall, before the drying heat of summer. Summer can be extremely hot and humid in the interior of Ohio. Temperatures reach above 90 degrees F frequently through July and August. Cooler fall temperatures don't reach the region until mid to late September. This is a pleasant time to visit as the air is crisp with low humidity levels. Ohio's annual precipitation usually reaches slightly above 50 inches.
Rockbridge Nature Preserve is located in Hocking County 1.5 miles from Rockbridge, southeast on U.S. Route 33.