Posted in Geology, Hiking, Northeastern Ohio, Park review

Burton Wetlands Nature Preserve

Burton Wetlands is a 305 acre preserve in Geauga County whose terrain was shaped by glaciers during the most recent Ice Age. Most notably there are two glacial kettles in the preserve. A glacial kettle forms when a glacier calves over a land surface (that's when a huge chunk breaks off). As the glacier recedes and the calved ice melts, a lake takes its place. The plants living in and around the glacial kettles of Ohio would normally be found farther north in Canada. They are living remnants of Ohio's Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Northeastern Ohio, Park review

Tinkers Creek State Nature Preserve

Tinkers Creek State Nature Preserve is a 786 acre preserve straddling the border of Portage and Summit counties. It features 2.2 miles of trails that provide scenic views of several ponds and wetlands. From the parking area, a short trail (0.2 mile) leads by a pond and then continues on to an observation deck overlooking a wetland. This short trail is about a quarter mile long. From the observation deck we saw a tree with a large nest in the distance. The nest is an active eagle's Read more ➜
Posted in Flowers, Northwestern Ohio, Park review

Lakeside Daisy State Nature Preserve

The Lakeside daisy is Ohio's rarest, native plant species. This plant only grows in four areas. Its largest population is in Ohio's Marblehead peninsula, part of Ottawa County. This is where the Lakeside Daisy State Nature Preserve is located. Lakeside daisies are also found in Michigan's upper peninsula, and in Ontario, Canada they can be found in the Bruce Peninsula and Manitoulin Island. Lakeside daisies are the only representatives of their genus that live east of the Mississippi. Read more ➜
Posted in Park review, Southwestern Ohio

Gallagher Fen State Nature Preserve

Fen habitats are America's most diverse habitat for vegetation, and many rare plants are found in fens. A fen is a type of wetland formed when water bubbles up from an underlying aquifer via an Artesian well or seep. In the case of Gallagher Fen, the water emerges from a hillside seep because two aquifers intersect nearby increasing the underground water pressure. Since the water is emerging from deep within the earth through limestone gravel dumped by glaciers during the last Ice Age, the water Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Park review, Southeastern Ohio

Lake Katharine State Nature Preserve

There are three trails at Lake Katharine. When we visited mid-April we hiked Salt Creek Trial and then Calico Bush Trail, but we didn't have time for the Pine Ridge Trail. The preserve struck us as being very scenic, and many spring flowers were in bloom during our visit. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) lists Lake Katharine as being one of the eight best preserves in the state for viewing spring wildflowers. The terrain is also interesting; it features many sandstone cliffs and outcroppings. Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Northwestern Ohio, Park review

Lawrence Woods State Nature Preserve

Lawrence Woods State Nature Preserve is located in Hardin County, and at 1,035 acres it is the largest woods having mature trees in the area. The nearest metropolitan area is Columbus, Ohio and for residents there it would take an hour to an hour-and-a-half to drive to Lawrence Woods. It's 4 miles from Kenton, Ohio, and the woods seems to be very popular with the local people. While I was visiting in late October I saw people of all ages strolling the boardwalk. The woods is adjacent to large meadows. When Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Park review, Southeastern Ohio

Marie J Desonier State Nature Preserve

December 1st was an unusually warm and sunny day for Ohio... shirt-sleeve weather really. We decided to take advantage of the sunny weather by visiting the 502-acre Marie J. Desonier State Nature Preserve in Athens County. The preserve is known for its hills and deep ravines. The preserve's main trail is the Oak Ridge Trail. This is an irregular loop trail that starts near the kiosk at one end of the parking lot and returns at the other end of the parking lot. There's a short spur trail Read more ➜
Posted in Birds, Park review, Southeastern Ohio

Kessler Swamp State Nature Preserve

We'd visited every (non-permit) park and preserve in Hocking county except one - Kessler Swamp. This weekend on the way home from a hike at Conkles Hollow, we stopped there. The parking lot for the preserve in a pull-off off of Hideaway Hills Road. A very short path leads you to an observation platform overlooking the swamp. The preserve is a 20-acre site consisting mostly of the swamp which is fed by Durbin Run, a tributary of Rush Creek. When we visited we noted mostly waterfowl Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Park review, Southeastern Ohio

Boch Hollow State Nature Preserve

The parks and preserves in the Hocking Hills area are great destinations for the outdoor enthusiast. We've hiked them all - Hocking State Park, Conkle's Hollow, Rock Bridge, Wahkeena, Boch Hollow. Wait ... Boch Hollow? Boch Hollow is a 570 acre preserve located north of Logan, Ohio. Like Rhododendron Cove and Christmas Rocks, Boch Hollow used to be a permit only preserve, but it is now open to the public. We've provided directions to the preserve at the end of this article. Boch Read more ➜