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Ohio

Edge of Appalachia Preserve System - The Wilderness Trail




Open to the Public

Yes

Things To Do

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Hikers seeking seclusion will find just what they’re looking for on The Wilderness trail – nobody. The newest trail at the Edge of Appalachia Preserve offers visitors a chance to escape into the woods for some peace and quiet, except for the sounds of local wildlife. 

The scene here changes with seasons. In spring, the slump rocks that have rolled down the hill are decorated with columbine, rue anemone, large-flowered trillium, goldenrod and miterwort. Above, migrant warblers flit through the trees, while the distance holds the rattling call of the wild turkey gobbler and the ruffed grouse drumming from his favorite log. 

Late fall flowers in these woods are few, but hikers should watch for the delicate blue flowers of the stiff gentian, which blooms into November and, at times, even into January. 

Preserve Visitation Guidelines:

The following activities are not permitted at The Wilderness Preserve:

  • Biking and mountain biking
  • Camping 
  • Driving an ATV or off-road vehicle
  • Cooking or camp fires 
  • Horseback riding 
  • Hunting 
  • Free-running pets  
  • Picking flowers, berries, nuts or mushrooms 
  • Removing any part of the natural landscape 
  • Snowmobiling

Please note that there are no facilities of any kind on the trail. 

Bring a copy of The Wilderness Trail Guide and Map on your trip! (pdf, 509KB)

The Wilderness trail guides visitors uphill and down into deep woods and past cool glens and gray cliffs of limestone. Along this trail are several stands of white cedar or arbor vitae in what botanists call “Appalchian Bluff White Cedar Woodland.” Today, this type of plant community is globally rare.

Part of the path winds for a half mile along the rim of a dolomite cliff that drops precipitously for 60 feet into the shaded gorge to Cliff Run. The bedrock here is Bisher Dolomite, sometimes called yellow dolomite because the iron in it turns yellow with oxidations. In autumn, when the leaves fall, you can see from there the distant valley of Ohio Brush Creek off to the west.

Allow 2-3 hours for this trail, so there will be time to stop and observe the flowers and butterflies, listen to the birds and study the plant communities.

Check out the Appalachian Discovery Trail, a guide to southern Ohio’s rich nature, culture and history.

Directions

From the north:

• Travel south on U.S. Route 23 to Waverly
• Take State Route 104 south
• Take State Route 32 (the Appalachian Highway) west for about 25 miles to State Route 41 at Peebles
• Follow SR 41 south to West Union
• Turn left (east) onto State Route 125
• Travel east on SR 125 for about 7 miles toward the village of Lynx
• Turn left onto Lynx Rd.
• Turn left onto the first gravel road, Shivener, and proceed until the parking lot. 

From the west:

• Travel east on State Route 32 to State Route 41 at Peebles.
• Follow SR 41 south to West Union
• Turn left (east) onto State Route 125
• Travel east on SR 125 for about 7 miles toward the village of Lynx
• Turn left onto Lynx Rd.
• Turn left onto the first gravel road, Shivener, and proceed until the parking lot.

Discussion

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Time for you to join the discussion. Tell us about your experience at this preserve. What plants and animals did you see? When did you go? You can help others plan their visit when you share your thoughts. And thank you for visiting one of our nature preserves!

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