Places We Protect

Brown's Lake Bog Preserve


Green fern plants and trees surround a walking path.
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.



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.

As one of the few well-preserved, virgin boreal acid bogs remaining in a region where wetlands have been drained for agricultural use, Brown's Lake Bog was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1967.

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.




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

Photos from Brown's Lake Bog

The 100-acre preserve is home to 20 rare plants and is one of the few remaining kettle hole peatlands in Ohio.

Brown's Lake Bog entrance signage.
A young boy crouched on a boardwalk surrounded by ferns and trees.
Yellow and white fungi growing on a log in a forest.
A brown and yellow salamander slithering through the dirt.
A boardwalk covered in snow with bare trees surrounding it.
A dragonfly perched on a piece of wood.
A dense green forest.
A boardwalk surround by green ferns and Loop trail signage.
Mushrooms growing on a log.
A northern pitcher plant surrounded by ferns.


  • 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.


    • Bog buckbean
    • Rose pogonia orchid
    • Mud sedge
    • Pitcher-plant
    • Round-leaved sundew
    • Large cranberry
    • Marsh fivefinger
    • Grass-pink orchid
    • Tawny cottongrass

    Amphibians and Reptiles

    • Four-toed salamander
  • Our vision is of a world where people and nature thrive together. The Nature Conservancy encourages people of all ages, races, ethnicities, religions, gender expressions, and abilities to visit our preserves and has a zero-tolerance policy for racism and discrimination.

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

    • Pets of any kind (service animals are permitted)
    • 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

    Use of other power-driven mobility devices (OPDMDs) is prohibited. For more information about the use of (OPDMDs) at our open preserves, please visit our OPDMD guidelines.

Current Conservation Work

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. TNC also manages the preserve for visitor use by maintaining the boardwalk and trails.

Find More Places We Protect

The Nature Conservancy owns nearly 1,500 preserves covering more than 2.5 million acres across all 50 states. These lands protect wildlife and natural systems, serve as living laboratories for innovative science and connect people to the natural world.

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