Some 12,000 years ago, portions of northeastern Ohio's Ashtabula and Trumbull counties were occupied by a large glacial lake, which deposited a thick layer of silt and clay ranging in depth from 5 to 50 feet. Watertight, these clay soils resulted in the formation of swamp forest, marshes, sphagnum bogs and sedge meadows.
Today, these wetlands are part of the Grand River Lowlands. A major tributary to Lake Erie, the Grand River – a state-designated “Wild and Scenic River” – and its surrounding wetlands are critical in the protection of this globally important freshwater resource.
At over 1,400 acres, The Nature Conservancy’s Morgan Swamp Preserve is one of the largest privately protected wetlands in Ohio and plays a key role in keeping the freshwater resources of northeastern Ohio healthy.
11/26/2012 - 12/2/2012
12/15/2012 - 12/16/2012
1/5/2013 - 1/8/2013
The greatest threats to Morgan Swamp Preserve are the destruction of adjacent wetlands, logging within the Grand River floodplain and upland forest communities, and invasive species. The Conservancy has been working to combat these threats through restoration, land acquisition, and education efforts.
View a slideshow of one of the Conservancy's most popular preserves in Ohio.
Terry Seidel, director of protection, explains how the new acquisition at Morgan Swamp Preserve helps to conserve the Grand River for all Ohioans.
Morgan Swamp and the surrounding area is a 2,000-acre remnant of a five-square-mile swamp that existed at the time of European settlement. By the beginning of 20th century, the entire region had been subjected to logging, draining, peat fires and farming.
Relatively undisturbed for nearly 100 years, Morgan Swamp is recovering from these impacts and is now dynamic and self-sustaining. The preserve harbors an array of rare species, many of which are associated with boreal habitats and are near the southern edge of their ranges in North America. A faunal survey of the preserve has revealed 108 bird species, 24 fishes, 26 reptiles, and 24 mammals - including the snowshoe hare and river otter.
The preserve offers an ADA accessible trail with interpretive signage.
Morgan Swamp is open seven days a week, from dawn to dusk.
From the north:
• From Interstate 90, travel south on State Route 534 for about 7 miles to its junction with State Route 166/Footville-Richmond Rd.
• Travel east on Footville-Richmond Rd. for 3.4 miles to the Morgan Swamp parking lot.
From the south:
• From U.S. Route 6, take State Route 45 north for about 3.2 miles to Footville-Richmond Rd.
• Travel west on Footville-Richmond for about 1.6 miles to the Morgan Swamp parking lot.