Places We Protect

Brown's Lake Bog Preserve


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

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.



Why TNC 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 20 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 TNC 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.




Trails are open year-round, daily, from dawn to dusk


Activities include:  Hiking, birding, nature photography and observing rare and native plants


100 acres

Explore our work in this region

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

What to See: Amphibian and Reptile

  • Four-toed salamander

The following activities are NOT permitted at Brown's Lake Bog Preserve:

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

Brown's Lake Bog Preserve is pet-friendly. Leashed pets (leash no longer than 6 feet) are welcome on the trails.