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Places We Protect

J. Arthur Herrick Fen Nature Preserve

Ohio

Herrick Fen in summer. Located in northeast Ohio.
Herrick Fen Preserve Herrick Fen in summer. Located in northeast Ohio. © Karen Seidel/TNC

Herrick Fen Preserve is one of the last remaining boreal fens in Ohio. It provides habitat for over two dozen state-listed species.

Overview

Description

Why TNC Selected This Site

Herrick Fen Preserve features unique geologic, hydrologic, biologic and physical features that resulted from the retreat of glaciers during the last ice age, some 12,000-14,000 years ago.

The preserve hosts two special fen communities, owing their presence to an impermeable silt and clay layer covered with glacial gravel that allows for the rise of cold, calcium- and magnesium-rich springs. The tamarack fen is the only native conifer in Ohio that sheds its needles each year, and the preserve boasts one of the few reproducing populations of it in the state. The cinquefoil-sedge fen contains an extensive population of bayberry, a state endangered plant found in only three locations in Ohio.

All told, the preserve provides habitat for over two dozen state-listed species. The initial preserve tract was purchased by Dr. J. Arthur Herrick in 1969 and now comprises some 140 acres. It is jointly owned by The Nature Conservancy and Kent State University, and managed by the Conservancy as a dedicated state nature preserve.

Access

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Hours

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

Highlights

J. Arthur Herrick Fen Preserve is one of the last remaining boreal fens in Ohio. While there, you can see tamarack trees, the only native conifer trees in Ohio. Activities include hiking, bird and wildlife watching, and nature photography.

Size

140 acres

Explore our work in this region

Photos from J. Arthur Herrick Fen Preserve

As one of the last remaining boreal fens, the preserve is rich in rare, unique species and habitats for visitors to enjoy.

Herrick Preserve Signage next to a boardwalk with trees in the backdrop.
A creek surrounded by lush greenery.
Brown/tan wildflowers in a field.
A red-tinted sunset washing over a wetland area.
A field of grasses and wildflowers.
A hiker on a boardwalk trail surrounded by grasses and trees.
A bunchflower nestled in between green grass.
Yellow tall swamp marigold wildflowers surrounding a straight boardwalk.
A semi-transparent orange slug on a tree.
Autumn-colored wildflowers and grasses with trees in the backdrop.

Visit

  • What to See

    Visitors should keep their eyes open for the more than two dozen state-listed plant species the preserve protects. Among them are:

    • Five types of sedges, including Broad-winged and Bebb's
    • Reproducing populations tamarack
    • Crinkled hairgrass
    • Round-leaved sundew
    • Bayberry
    • Small fringed gentian
    • Tall St. John's-wort
    • Butternut
    • American water-pennywort
    • Bunchflower
    • Autumn willow
    • Ohio goldenrod
  • Activities

    The preserve features an easy 1-mile trail to and from the parking lot.

    Visitors will enjoy the preserve’s boardwalk, which showcases some of the preserve’s most distinct features, such as seeps and fen plants—including Bayberry and the round-leaved sundew, a tiny carnivorous plant that inconspicuously grows on sphagnum moss.

    The boardwalk, among other things at Herrick Fen, has been renovated, allowing for better public access. In order to protect the sensitive species, and for your safety, please stay on the boardwalk and nature trails.

  • Preserve Guidelines

    The following activities are NOT permitted at Herrick Fen Preserve:

    • 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

    Herrick Fen Preserve is pet-friendly. Leashed pets (leash no longer than 6 feet) are welcome on the trail.

Current Conservation Work

Threats to the preserve include urban encroachment, siltation, and invasive non-native plant species such as buckthorn, cattail and reed canarygrass. Extensive and prolonged fluctuations in the lake level can negatively impact the fen community, especially the tamaracks which are sensitive to high water levels caused by beaver activity in the preserve.

The ecological goal for this preserve is to restore or maintain the biodiversity of the tamarack fen and cinquefoil-sedge fens through aggressive invasive species control and management of the lake’s water level.

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.

See the Complete Map

We need your help protecting the natural treasures of Ohio.