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The Nature Conservancy’s
Big Darby Headwaters Nature Preserve

Credit: Randall Schieber


County Road 152
Logan County, OH

Website  |  Get directions to this location

Site Overview

Since 1999, The Nature Conservancy has acquired more than 800 acres of the floodplain forests, wetlands and prairies that comprise Big Darby Creek’s headwaters region. These headwaters are fed by a complex of underground seeps, which contribute millions of gallons of clean, cold water to tributary streams of nearby Big Darby Creek.

Big Darby Headwaters Nature Preserve provides a natural escape for Central Ohio residents. Visitors enjoy the preserve’s trail system and overlooks, which feature signage that highlights the headwaters’ biodiversity and the area’s importance to both human and wildlife populations.

Why It Matters

Fed by a complex of underground seeps, the springs and streams formed in the Big Darby Headwaters Nature Preserve influence Big Darby Creek—one of the Midwest’s most biologically diverse aquatic systems. In addition to supporting an array of aquatic life, the watershed also supports the health of the Scioto River, which is an important source of drinking water for area residents.

In 2011, the Conservancy completed an effort to restore the headwaters of Big Darby Creek to re-create its natural meandering flow by reversing decades of channel modifications made for farm drainage and highway construction. The restoration effort helps to ensure that Big Darby Creek will continue to support both the people and wildlife that depend on it.

Natural Treasures Landmark

Join hundreds of others who have chronicled their adventures! Take a picture of yourself at the Wetland Observation Deck at Big Darby Headwaters Nature Preserve and upload it to our site.

Fun Things to Do and See

While on the hunt for the landmark, enjoy the abundant adventures this Ohio treasure has to offer. The thrill of nature can be experienced at any level!

Patio Dweller

  • Soak in the tranquility of the picturesque area when you trek a mere 0.3 mile to the preserve’s first observation deck. What types of birds did you hear along the way?
  • Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate the spectacular display of skunk cabbage and trillium the wetlands boast. What other wetland plants did you see?  

Backyard Camper

  • See if you can spot evidence of glaciers on the trail. Do you see any boulders?

Frontier Explorer

  • Walk the full trail to the new restoration overlook. Can you tell this area was restored? Why or why not?

We’re Accountable

The Nature Conservancy makes careful use of your support.

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