Gettysburg, Ohio: Foot Print Rock

A rock with a human footprint? And right on the side of the road, too. People who have placed a foot in the footprint have claimed to have traveled back in time!
Address:
US Hwy 40, Gettysburg, OH
Directions:
FROM WEST: I-70 exit 156B (Indiana), then east on US 40. FROM EAST: I-70 exit 10 (Ohio), north on Hwy 127, then turn left (west) onto US 40. Footprint Rock is on the north side of US 40, a half-mile east of the tiny town of Gettysburg, or 1.8 miles west of County Road 726. Look for the small brown sign. Just east of the sign are several small metal silos on the south side of the road, and a patch of empty land that once had a gas station on the north side of the road.
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Visitor Tips and News About Foot Print Rock

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Footprint Rock. Foot Print Rock

It is in the grass, so you have to look for the sign on the right side of the road...or you will miss it. You also have to use your imagination on this one!!

[Penny, 11/13/2012]
Footprint Rock. Footprint Rock

Near Footprint Rock, the old service station has been torn down.

[Lindsay, 08/11/2011]
Footprint Rock

Footprint rock is 5 foot swath of metamorphic rock that appears out of the grassy earth as if some giant was playing golf and left a divot in the earth with their pitching wedge. On this exposed rock is a natural indentation that looks exactly like a size 10 left foot.

FPR is a registered state historic place, complete with a drab brown road sign hastening your attention from quaint drive down US 40. What is so unusual is that FPR is only 10 feet from the highway and the sign is comically, right on top of the rock. Apparently, the state of OHIO is fine with you coming to a stop by violently applying the brakes and side-sliding Dukes of Hazzard style because that is the only way a first-time visitor can avoid blowing right past this when the sign becomes legible on the side of the highway.

Parking is done by simply pulling onto the ample curve of this large but lonely highway. Visitors walk over the rock, remove their footwear, close their eyes and place their tootsies in the mythical depression.

Upon opening their eyes, people have claimed to be able to look back into time. When US40 was the king of roads, stretching from coast-to-coast! The moldering, abandoned motels that dot this road are now bright and bustling with people. Commies were bad, people still used pay phones and people were jailed for burning the flag.

It's either magic or the fumes from the abandoned gas station 100 feet away that the forest is slowly reclaiming. So you put your shoe back on, wander around the abandoned gas station like you know you want to, and then wave a fair goodbye to Footprint Rock. And hope that it has enough magic left for the next visitor.

[Charles Shull, 10/01/2007]
Footprint Rock

Rock with what looks like an impression of a footprint. Someone stole the sign that marked the location of this roadside attraction.

[Red, 03/29/2005]
Foot Print Rock

A flat outcropping of glaciated rock on the north side of the road contains an impression that looks like a footprint. Local lore says this is a footprint of a prehistoric man.

Geologists and archaeologists all agree that this is not a footprint but rather some other phenomenon. The print looks like a perfect outline of a size 9 Nikes. It's a bit much to think our prehistoric ancestors were so attired. Besides, those Nikes wouldn't hold up too long in the molten rock.

Still, legends die hard and if you challenge anyone in the area on this, they'll probably think you're itching for a fight.

I side with the scientists, but love the lore of the footprint legend. Some locals have been trying to convince ODOT to allow them to dig up the rock and move it. I say leave it where it is, even though claims that this is a prehistoric footprint are solid as a chocolate bunny on Easter morning.

[Jennaleia, 08/18/2003]

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September 16, 2014

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