Goll Woods State Nature Preserve

Goll Woods State Nature Preserve is a 321-acre preserve in Fulton County with 5.25 miles of trail. The trail system approaches the Tiffin River in two places, and it also passes by the Goll Cemetery and the preserve office for the Northwest Preserve District. One hundrd acres of the preserve are old growth forest (sometimes referred to as "virgin woods"). Some of the trees in this region are up to 400 years old and have reached a diameter of 4 feet. Among the largest trees are bur oak, white oak, Read more ➜

Summer Wildflowers 2016

The photos below are a sample of some of the wildflowers we've seen in June, July, and August. All were photographed in Ohio. Native Orchids I had the good fortune of seeing two, new species of native orchid for the first time while we were attending Mothapalooza. Mothapalooza is an annual conference held in Ohio that focuses on moths, but also deals with nature more generally. The most colorful of the two was the Yellow-fringed orchid. Although mostly pale, the following orchid Read more ➜

Bigelow Cemetery State Nature Preserve

Last summer we visited two of Ohio's smallest state nature preserves: Bigelow Cemetery and Smith Cemetery. Within these two preserves are remnants of prairie that once extended over 5% of Ohio. Because both sites were 19th century cemeteries, they were undisturbed by the plowing that converted 99% of this rich, prairie soil into Ohio farmland. Today I will discuss the half-acre Bigelow Cemetery State Nature Preserve, and I'll save the nearby Smith Cemetery State Nature Preserve for a later post. Read more ➜

Early Spring Wildflowers 2016

Here a sampling of the wildflowers that I saw in March and April of this year. With each photo below, I've identified the flower and indicated when and where it was photographed. I'm leading off with a flower called Pride of Ohio out of Buckeye pride. πŸ™‚ It is also known as Shooting Star. Additional information If you liked this article, you might be interested in our post, Common Spring Read more ➜

The Return of the American Chestnut Tree

Over a hundred years ago, the American chestnut tree (Castanea dentata) was virtually wiped out. Now the Ohio Department of Natural Resources is working on returning this grand tree to Ohio forests. A long time ago (over 100 years) not far away, giants ruled the Ohio forest. The American chestnut tree grew to heights of 100 to 150 feet. The tree dominated eastern forests from Maine to Georgia. Then one day in 1904, its nemesis arrived from Asia - a fungus by the name of endothia parasitica Read more ➜

Native Cactus in Adams County

We recently made a couple of trips to Adams County. We've written about a few of the sites we visited and will discuss many more in the future. On our trip we briefly stopped at Sandy Springs Cemetery near the Ohio River to view native Ohio cactus. Regular readers of TrekOhio will recall that we previously wrote about cactus at Kitty Todd Nature Preserve near Toledo. Cactus are also found in Adams County. I was about to write an article about the Adams County native cactus when I read Kyle Brooks Read more ➜

Milford Center Prairie State Natural Area

Between eight and four thousand years ago what later became Ohio experienced a prolonged drought. This allowed the drought-tolerant plants of the Great Plains to displace Ohio's more typical, water-loving plants. This eastward thrust of the prairie into Ohio has been referred to as a "prairie peninsula." The prairie peninsula encompassed nearly 400 square miles of the Darby Plains in western, central Ohio. Today only 1% of this prairie survives. There are a number of MetroParks in the Columbus and Read more ➜

Spring Wildflowers 2015

This is a collection of some of my favorite wildflower photos taken in April and May of this year. If you'd like to see a larger version of any flower, just click on its photo. The above photo was taken at the Wahkeena Nature Preserve. The staff there make it really easy to locate their most picturesque wildflowers. We were greeted by the in-house naturalist, Tom Shisler. He actually gave us a map of the grounds with the locations of the orchids identified by pink marks on the map. Read more ➜

Pine Hill Park: Crall Woods

Crall Woods is a 97-acre woodland that's one of two tracts of land making up Pine Hill Park in Ashland County. It was named as a National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service in 1974. According to a sign in the park's kiosk, there are three nature trails at Crall Wood with a total length of 2.45 miles. However, we saw two unlisted trails (one under construction and the other complete) that were not listed on the kiosk. All the trails were wide and well-maintained. In a recent comment Read more ➜

Fowler Woods State Nature Preserve

Fowler Woods is a 187-acre, state nature preserve located in Richland Coundy in northeast Ohio. Originally the preserve featured a handicap-accessible, 1 ¼-mile boardwalk, but in 2014 much of the boardwalk was closed to the public due to safety concerns.  The boardwalk passes through mature forest, buttonbush swamps, and an area that was once farmland, but is now reverting to forest. Sadly the lower, wetland region within this area that is now barred to the public.  The preserve used to be one Read more ➜