A sunny day on the Lynx Prairie Trail
EOA Lynx Prairie Preserve A sunny day on the Lynx Prairie Trail © Randall Schieber

Places We Protect

E. Lucy Braun Lynx Prairie

Ohio

Lynx Prairie was The Nature Conservancy’s first preserve in Ohio.

If you’re interested in seeing where The Nature Conservancy got its start in Ohio, the E. Lucy Braun Lynx Prairie Preserve is the place to visit. It is named after legendary botanist Dr. E. Lucy Braun who studied botany and geology.  Lynx Prairie and Adams County, OH were among her favorite places to study.

Never underestimate the power of one person's ideas.  E. Lucy Braun studied the very flora and fauna that you'll see along this trail and was so taken by the rich biodiversity of this region, she encouraged others to invest in its protection. What started out as a 42-acre preserve has now grown to the 20,000 acre Edge of Appalachia Preserve System.  

It was here, where islands of grassland support rare species like Texas sandwort and blue-hearts, that in 1959 a group of ecologists made a small investment in the future of Ohio’s natural resources, paying $1,000 for the 42-acre parcel of prairie. 

Designated a National Natural Landmark in 1967, Lynx Prairie was protected to save the best of the few remaining remnants of the once extensive prairies of this area. This preserve features a series of natural grassland openings that appear as islands in an otherwise forested area. These natural openings, called cedar barrens or glades, are prevalent throughout the preserve system.

Lynx Prairie Trail weaves through wooded sections to reach open prairie remnants that boast grasses like little blue-stem and the rare purple three-awn grass. Butterflies like the great-spangled fritillaries and countless swallowtails float about, allowing for a peaceful trek through a rare system. 

Prairie-like in nature, cedar barrens have thin, shallow soils overlying dolomitic (Silurian) bedrock, a significant amount of tree and shrub growth and an abundance of native grasses and wildflowers.

Within Lynx Prairie Preserve are three plainly marked interconnecting loop trails, named Red, White and Green. Their combined length is 1.3 miles with no steep hills to climb. The trails loop around and through the preserve’s prairies, where prairie grasses and tall flowers dominate the scene in late summer and early fall.

Parts of the trail system traverse through woods dominated by native Virginia pines and red cedar. Watch along the trail during July and August for an unusual member of the orchid family, known as crested coralroot, which grows underground and only occasionally sends up a one-half to two-foot high purple and yellow flowering spike.

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

The following activities are NOT permitted at Lynx Prairie:

  • Biking and mountain biking
  • Camping 
  • Driving an ATV or off-road vehicle
  • Cooking or camp fires 
  • Horseback riding 
  • Hunting 
  • Pets of any kind - service animals are permitted
  • Picking flowers, berries, nuts or mushrooms 
  • Removing any part of the natural landscape 
  • Snowmobiling

Pledge to the Edge

We need your help protecting the natural treasures of Ohio's Appalachian foothills.