Places We Protect

E. Lucy Braun Lynx Prairie


Lynx Prairie Preserve A sunny day on the Lynx Prairie Trail in Ohio. © Randall Schieber

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, Ohio, 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.




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


Hiking, birding, nature photography, observing native plants


This preserve is part of the 20,000-acre Edge of Appalachia Preserve System.

Explore our work in this region

Photos from Lynx Prairie

The trail boasts a variety of native grasses and wildflowers for visitors to enjoy.

Lynx Prairie signage.
Wildflowers in a prairie.
Wildflowers in a prairie.
Two scientists in a prairie.
Dolomite rock with crevices.
A butterfly sitting on a wildflower.
Wildflowers in a prairie.
The sun shining bright in a blue, semi-cloudy sky.
Wildflowers in a prairie.
A group of hikers in a prairie.


  • 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.

  • 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 Lynx Prairie:

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

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

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

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