Clio Logo

Raven Rock State Nature Preserve features a 500-foot hill of the same name. The hill is remarkable in its appearance and has been visited by at least two historical figures: Tecumseh and Daniel Boone. Native Americans used the hill as a lookout, being able to see much of the Ohio River, while today, it is utilized mostly by hikers and tourists.


  • View from atop Raven Rock
  • Raven Rock protruding into the air
  • View of the Ohio River with the hills of Kentucky in the background

Raven Rock is a 500-foot tall hill formed from Mississippi sandstone. From atop the hill, one can see fourteen miles of the Ohio River, including where the Ohio meets the Scioto River. It is believed that Native Americans climbed to the top of Raven Rock to look for invaders who could be traveling along the river. Tecumseh, political leader and war chief of the Shawnee Indians, stood on this natural wonder, as did frontiersman Daniel Boone (though on separate occasions).

No one is quite sure how Raven Rock got its name. One legend tells of a Native American named Raven who chose to jump to his death from the top of the hill rather than be captured by his enemies. Another theory deals with the hill’s resemblance to a bird, the cliff being the head and beak and the walls of the cliff being the wings.

Local lawyer and Cherokee Charles Asa Brown donated the land (98 acres) to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources in 1993 on the condition that all visitors must obtain a permit first. The permits are free and can be found online or at the Shawnee State Park Office or the Shawnee State Camp Store.

Tecumseh. History.com. Accessed March 27, 2018. http://www.history.com/topics/native-american-history/tecumseh.

Daniel Boone. History.com. Accessed March 27, 2018. http://www.history.com/topics/daniel-boone.

Andrew Lee Feight, Ph.D., “Raven Rock State Nature Preserve,” Scioto Historical, accessed March 27, 2018, http://sciotohistorical.org/items/show/36.

Conley, Ciara. ‘Permits aren’t a punishment’. Portsmouth Daily Times. June 02, 2016. Accessed June 22, 2018. https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/news/8380/permits-arent-a-punishment. Photo and information source.

Raven Rock State Nature Preserve. Ohio Explorer. September 23, 2012. Accessed June 22, 2018. http://ohioexplorer.blogspot.com/2012/09/raven-rock-state-nature-preserve.html. Photo source.

Raven Rock Arch. Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Accessed June 22, 2018. http://naturepreserves.ohiodnr.gov/ravenrockarch.
0