Welcome to Leo Petroglyphs & Natural Preserve
One of the finest examples of ancient petroglyphs in Ohio is engraved on the exposed rock protected by the shelter house. Ancestors of American Indians carved these figures onto this outcrop of the Sharon Sandstone bedrock. This sandstone is primarily seen in southern Ohio, especially in Jackson County, and in northeastern Ohio.
We cannot know for certain the meaning of the symbols, but it's possible they tell a story that was important to the ancient people who once lived here. The most iconic image on the panel is the human head with deer antlers and bird's feet, which may depict a shaman or supernatural being. These petroglyphs are likely the work of the Fort Ancient culture and may be as much as 1,000 years old.
Beginning at the south side of the petroglyph shelter is a nature trail, which leads through a deep gorge and then along the top of the cliffs. Interpretive signs along the trail highlight some of the interesting natural history of the site.
The Sharon Sandstone bedrock in this area formed during the Pennsylvanian Period, about 300 million years ago. Layers of white quartz pebbles, even older than
The east side of the gorge is dominated by the Eastern
Hemlock. A tree more common in the northern U.S.
and Appalachian Mountains, this cool climate species
is a remnant of the Ice Age. After the glaciers left Ohio,
the hemlock remained in cool and moist environments
such as Leo Petroglyphs. This unique habitat of heavily
shaded ravines support not only rare plants, but in
some areas rare salamanders and other moisture-loving
species. Native wildflowers grow along the top of the
ravine and birds are abundant in season.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Anthropology & Archaeology • Native Americans.
Location. 39° 9.033′ N, 82° 40.483′ W. Marker is in Leo, Ohio, in Jackson County. Marker is on Park Road (Local Highway 224) 0.4 miles west of Raysville Road (Local Highway 29), on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 357 Park Road, Ray OH 45672, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Leo Petroglyphs (within shouting distance of this marker); We cannot know for certain the meaning of the symbols (within shouting distance of this marker); This shelter covers a small group of petroglyphs
Credits. This page was last revised on February 11, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 10, 2021, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio. This page has been viewed 157 times since then and 43 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on February 10, 2021, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.