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Adams Lake State ParkAdams Lake State Park

47-acre lake with boat ramp. Electric motors only.

The adjoining Adams Lake State Nature Preserve has two short loop trails for approximately 1/2- mile total hiking. Both are considered easy hikes, The Prairie Dock Trail is yet another example of small prairie openings common in Adams County. The Post Oak Trail features a short hike through an oak-hickory forest.

14633 State Route 41
West Union, Ohio 45693


Edge of Appalachia Preserve System Edge of Appalachia Preserve System

Amid rocky slopes, rolling meadows and deep moist ravines, relict plant communities have persisted for thousands of years. The Ohio chapter of The Nature Conservancy and the Museum of Natural History & Science at Cincinnati Museum Center own and manage a series of 11 nearly contiguous preserves, collectively called The Richard and Lucile Durrell Edge of Appalachia Preserve System, the largest privately owned protected natural area in Ohio. The Edge of Appalachia provides critical habitat for some 100 rare species of plants and animals. Four areas in the preserve, Lynx Prairie, Buzzardroost Rock, Red Rock and the Wilderness, are registered National Natural Landmarks, testimony to their national significance. The eminent ecologist E. Lucy Braun first called attention to the biodiversity of 'The Edge' in the 1920s. Her students, Richard and Lucile Durrell, were early leaders in the effort to preserve this outstanding natural area.

A private preserve of 18,000 acres of forest, prairies, waterfalls, gorges, and mountains, containing over 100 rare species of plants and animals. Administered jointly by the Nature Conservancy and Cincinnati Museum Center, the preserve contains and protects such local landmarks as Buzzardroost, Cedar Falls, Red Rock, The Swirl Hole, and Lynx Prairie.

  • The Edge of Appalachia Preserve has four hiking trails open to the public. All trails are marked and well maintained. Click here for trail maps.

  • Lynx Prairie Trail is 1.6 mile round loop trail. The Lynx Prairie is a National Natural Landmark and it best viewed in late summer when the prairie is blooming. It’s an easy hike that features over 200 species of plants and prairie flowers.|

  • Wilderness Trail is 2.5 mile loop trail. A moderate hike through the 1,200 acre preserve will reveal an unbroken forest with limestone cliffs and over 50 rare plants and flowers. A good spring and fall hike.

  • Buzzardroost Rock Trail is a 4.5-mile round-trip trail to Buzzardroost Rock. Buzzardroost is perhaps the most popular hike in Adams County and for good reason. A strenuous hike of three miles to the “Roost” and back rewards hikers with a spectacular view of Brush CreekValley at the trails end. Spring wildflowers, fall colors, and during winter, the surrounding landscape lays bare all its unique geological features for everyone to see include the nearby Tiffin cliffs. Excellent hiking year round.

  • Joan Portman Trail/Buckeye Trail where you can experience a panoramic view of the Ohio Brush Creek Valley on this 1.5-mile, round-trip trail extending through both prairie and forest. The 1,400-mile Buckeye Trail continues eastward from the overlook but is designed for long-distance and through-hikers only. It does not return to the parking area.
    George Rieveschl Jr. Creek’s Bend Overlook
    Stop by the preserve's visitor information area to learn more about the preserve, get maps, launch a canoe on Ohio Brush Creek or walk the short, all-accessible Prairie Garden Trail. 
    *Photo credit goes to Eric Albrecht

Waggoner Riffle Rd
West Union , Ohio 45693

Website for Edge of Appalachia Preserve System

Ohio River Island National Wildlife Refuge Ohio River Island National Wildlife Refuge

The Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge conserves the 'wild Ohio' within one of our nation's busiest inland waterways. Established in 1990, the refuge extends along 362 miles of the upper Ohio River with 22 scattered islands and three mainland properties. The refuge works to protect wildlife and habitats native to the Ohio River and its floodplain. Migratory birds and endangered freshwater mussels are among the important wildlife emphasized on the refuge. The two Manchester Islands are apart of this refuge.

- Across from
Manchester, Ohio 45144

Robert A. Whipple State Nature PreserveRobert A. Whipple State Nature Preserve

270 acres filled with Dolomite cliffs, slump blocks, sinkholes and good spring wildflowers. Pull off parking and a sign are present. The preserve has a moderate 1-3/4 mile hike among the Ohio River hills.  During late fall, after the leaves are gone, hikers can view the Ohio River valley.

1194 State Rte 247 - The east side of St Rt 247, approximately 1 mile north of Rt 52
Manchester, Ohio 45144

Website for Robert A. Whipple State Nature Preserve

Shawnee State ForestShawnee State Forest

From their website: "Located in the Appalachian foothills near the banks of the Ohio River, Shawnee State Park is nestled in the 63,000-acre Shawnee State Forest. Once the hunting grounds of the Shawnee Indians, the region is one of the most picturesque in the state, featuring erosion-carved valleys and wooded hills. The rugged beauty of the area has earned it the nickname 'The Little Smokies.' "

Shawnee State Forest is along the border of Adams & Scioto Counties and has many quiet gravel roads - excellent for mountain bike trips.

There are several hiking trails including a section of the North County Trail that goes through the Shawnee Wilderness Area. The Buckhorn trail, a seven mile bridle & hiking trail takes hikers into the heart of the wilderness area. The Cabbage Patch Trail also leads into the interior of the wilderness area can be accessed off Lower Twin Creek Road. The trails range from moderate to strenuous. Hikers may encounter remains of old sandstone quarries active during the late 1800’s.

4404 State Route 125
Portsmouth, Ohio 45663