Lush foliage along the trail at Brown's Lake Bog
Brown's Lake Bog in Summer Lush foliage along the trail at Brown's Lake Bog © Emily Speelman

Places We Protect


Brown's Lake Bog Preserve

This 100-acre preserve protects a bog with floating sphagnum moss mat, a 7-acre kettle lake and an outstanding example of a glacially-formed hill known as a kame.

Wayne County, within the Western Allegheny Plateau Ecoregion.

Why the Conservancy Selected This Site
Brown's Lake Bog represents a very rare plant community in Ohio.  The naturally acidic properties of sphagnum, coupled with its ability to insulate the water below from rapid air temperature changes, provided the right environment for the creation of the bog and its relict boreal plant communities.  More than twenty rare plants are found here.

The greatest threat to the integrity of the glacial relict bog community is succession.  Some of this may be unnaturally accelerated due to increased runoff and changes in water chemistry, possibly caused by surrounding agricultural areas.  Without intervention, the entire kettle depression would become a swamp forest.  If woody plants are permitted to encroach upon the sphagnum mat, these shrubs and trees would eventually shade out the bog species that make this area unique.

What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing
The Nature Conservancy is working to maintain the existing open bog mat and expand the open mat to include currently shrubbed over areas around the bog lake.  This area has been very heavily encroached upon by shrub succession over the past half century.  The Conservancy also manages the preserve for visitor use by maintaining the boardwalk and trails.

Download and view the Brown's Lake Bog Preserve Trail Map and Guide

Why You Should Visit
This 100-acre preserve is a bog with its floating sphagnum moss mat, a 7-acre kettle hole lake and an outstanding example of a glacially formed hill known as a Kame.  Brown's Lake Bog is one of the few remaining kettle hole peatlands in Ohio.  The bog and surrounding 80 acres of lowland forest were purchased by The Nature Conservancy in 1966 and declared a National Natural Landmark in 1968.  A 1990 purchase of 19 acres secured ownership of all of Brown's Lake.

What to See: Plants

  • Bog buckbean
  • Rose pogonia orchid
  • Mud sedge
  • Pitcher-plant
  • Round-leaved sundew
  • Large cranberry
  • Marsh fivefinger
  • Grass-pink orchid
  • Tawny cottongrass
  • American water-pennywort
  • White beak-rush
  • Slender willow
  • Scheuchzeria

What to See: Amphibian and Reptile

  • Four-toed salamander