Posted in Hiking, Park review, Southwestern Ohio

Edge of Appalachia: Lynx Prairie Trail

The Richard and Lucile Durrell Edge of Appalachia Preserve is situated 75 miles south of Cincinnati. The preserve system is managed jointly by the Museum of Cincinnati and the Nature Conservancy. Together its eleven different properties preserve some 16,000 acres of the western edge of the Appalachian Escarpment. Currently four of these properties feature hiking trails. We previously described the Joan Jones Portman Trail. Today we’ll describe a hike we took mid-July on the Lynx Prairie Trail.

Trail through prairie opening

There is a large trail map posted near the trailhead that includes additional information about the preserve. You can also obtain an online trail map at the preserve’s official website (for links, see our entry for Edge of Appalachia in our Adams County Guide). The trails are a bit narrow, but include footbridges to help your cross a couple low areas. Although at the very start of the trail, there is a bed of crushed stone, this soon gives way to a dirt path. It had rained heavily the night before, so the dirt path was muddy. The trail is subdivied into three-mini trails that are color coded. As you can see on the map below there are a couple loops in the trail. Whenever we came to a trail junction where there was a choice of directions, there was always a sign post that pointed the direction to the exit, plus colored arrows that let you know which part of the color-coded trail you were on.

Trail map for the Lynx Prairie Trail. Note that the trail is subdivided into three color coded trails.

We also made a GPS trace of our hike. If you like, you can explore it on Google Maps. The yellow lines signify our hike. I also drew a lavender line to show one segment of the trail that we skipped.

The sign posts along the trail were excellent. The colored arrows (white in this case) showed which leg of the trail you were on, and all the sign posts had an arrow showing the way out.

Shortly after starting out on the trail, there is a box where you can sign in. Just lift the lid and a pen or pencil is provided.

The box on top of this post contains a notebook and pen, so visitors can sign in. This helps the preserve know how many people are making use of the trail, and what places the hikers hail from

Below I’m just going to show a few photos as the trail passes through forest and prairie openings just to give you a feel for what it is like.

Trail surrounded by grassy edging
Trail near edge of forest and opening
Trail though the opening
Trail through woods
Annette’s Rock – It’s about 6 feet tall (and it’s on the map). Named for Dr. Annette Braun, a famed microlepidopterist and sister of Lucy Braun. It is made of a magnesium-rich limestone called Peebles Dolomite. This is the bedrock that underlies all the prairie openings in Adams County.


There were many summer wildflowers in bloom while we were visiting mid-July. Below is a sample.

Purple coneflower before the cone has completely developed.
Center of purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
Flowering Spurge (Euphorbia corallata)
Whorled Milkweed (Asclepias verticillata)
St. John’s wort
Tall Anemone (Anemone virginiana)
Scaly blazing star (Liatris squarrosa)
Partridge pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata)
Rattlesnake master (Eryngium yuccifolium)
Rose pink (Sabatia angularis)
Prairie dock (Silphium terebinthinaceum); this plant was plentiful in the Lynx Prairie Preserve, but we were there a little bit too early to see it in bloom. This is a photo of a blossom that I photographed elsewhere.
Pale spiked lobelia (Lobelia spicata)
Gray-headed Coneflower (Ratibida pinnata)
Hairy Ruellia (Ruellia caroliniensis)
Nodding Onion (Allium cernuum)
Butterflies and Insects

With so many flowers was a multitude of nectar-loving insects.

Great Spangled Fritillary Butterfly in profile on a purple coneflower
Great spangled fritillary on purple coneflower
Pearl crescent butterfly on dried-up downy mint blossoms
Pipevine swallowtail viewed from the top
Pipevine swallowtail viewed from below
Spicebush swallowtail, with a view of the underwings
Spicebush swallowtail, viewed from the top
Wild indigo duskywing nectaring on pale spiked lobelia
Silver spotted skipper, view of underwing
Sliver spotted skipper, viewed from the top
Hickory tussock moth caterpillar
Flower Longhorn Beetles (Typocerus velutinus) mating on top of whorled milkweed. The adult beetles feed on nectar and pollen.
Milkweed bug
This is an Oak Hedgehog Gall. Inside it a tiny, wasp is developing.
Fungus and Lichen
False turkey-tail mushrooms
Reindeer lichen
Additional information

  • Address (guesstimate by Google based on GPS coordinates): 2998 Township Hwy T-226, Lynx, Ohio 45650
  • Directions: From Lynx, Ohio travel south on on Tulip Road (which is County Road 9), turn east on Cline Road (also known as Township Hwy 226). Cline Road dead ends at the entrance to Lynx Prairie Preserve.
  • GPS Coordinates: 38.759275, -83.407109
  • Google Maps: View on map or get directions

More on the Edge of Appalachia

© Deborah Platt, Robert Platt and 2012 to 2021

6 thoughts on “Edge of Appalachia: Lynx Prairie Trail

    1. Brett, I’m afraid that I only hiked the Lynx Prairie Trail in July, so I can’t speak from experience. However, as a general rule of thumb, I think that spring flowers are typically best viewed in deciduous woodland. They bloom early in spring before the trees get leaves to enjoy maximum sunlight. However prairies seem to reach their peak time for wildflowers in July. Since there isn’t a canopy of trees overhead, this is when they get the most sun.

      In Adams County I was at the Chalet Nevale Preserve at the end of May last year, and there were quite a few spring wildflowers there. I should be publishing an article about that preserve soon.

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