Ohio Department of Natural Resources’Gahanna Woods State Nature Preserve
Credit: Ohio Department of Natural Resources
In Franklin County 1.5 miles east of Gahanna on Havens Corners Road, then 0.5 mile south on Taylor Station Road.Website
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Just minutes from the Columbus area, the 59-acre Gahanna Woods State Nature Preserve offers mature and young forest habitats. Visitors can explore stands of oak and hickory, beech and maple, as well as a swamp forest of pin oaks and silver maples.
The Nature Conservancy acquired the land in 1972 and eventually transferred the property to the City of Gahanna.
Why It Matters
Gahanna Woods protects both buttonbush swamps and vernal pools—seasonal wetlands that are essential for the life cycles of amphibians like frogs and salamanders, which are on the decline in urban areas. Visitors to the preserve will enjoy the spring wildflowers that abound in the forests and may even catch a glimpse of a giant swallowtail butterfly, which as caterpillars survive on the prickly ash trees that the preserve harbors.
With an urban backdrop, Gahanna Woods is a highly frequented natural escape that contributes to local residents’ quality of life. The preserve is a bird-watcher’s dream and offers plenty of scenic hiking trails and picnicking areas.
Natural Treasures Landmark
Join hundreds of others who have chronicled their adventures! Take a picture of yourself at the Gahanna Woods welcome sign at Gahanna Woods State 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!
- Grab a blanket and a good read and settle under the shade of the oak trees for an afternoon of total relaxation. Beware, though, the chorus of spring peepers in the nearby swamps may sing you to sleep!
- Pack a picnic and enjoy your lunch hour dining among the rare and beautiful vegetation the preserve has to offer. How many different species of wildflowers can you spot?
Channel your inner Van Gogh and take a stab at rendering the vast display of unique wildflowers the preserve boasts - including the mesmerizing May apple and the colorful windflowers.
Have you seen the cypress-knee sedge? It doesn’t exist in nature anywhere else in Ohio. Take the one-mile trail at Gahanna Woods State Nature Preserve to see this rare plant up close and personal.