Snow Lake in Fall
Snow Lake in Fall Snow Lake in Fall © Randall Schieber

Places We Protect

Lucia S. Nash Preserve

Ohio

The 650-acre preserve features an ancient kettle lake within the heart of one of Ohio's finest remaining glacial wetlands.

The 650-acre Lucia S. Nash Preserve, located in Geauga County, includes Snow Lake—a small kettle lake surrounded by emergent marsh, sedge meadow and shrub swamp. The low hills around the lake support upland forest with scattered vernal pools and swamp forests. The preserve also protects the only remaining old growth white pine boreal fen in Ohio.

Lucia S. Nash Preserve, formerly known as White Pine Bog, is part of a larger, 20,000-acre wetland complex of boggy bottomland known as the Cuyahoga Wetlands—an area considered one of the finest remaining glacial wetlands in Ohio. The complex also includes the Geauga Park District’s Burton Wetlands Nature Preserve and The Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s Fern Lake.  Read more about Snow Lake and the surrounding lands that are considered to be the crown jewel of the Cuyahoga Wetlands.

The property is adjacent to a patchwork of 18,000 acres the City of Akron owns and manages to protect the city’s drinking water reservoirs downstream. The 300,000 customers who rely on Akron’s municipal water system benefit from the protection of the Lucia S. Nash Preserve and other nearby natural areas.

What TNC Has Done/Is Doing

  • Opened the property to the public in summer 2020. 
  • In late 2019 & early 2020, improvements were made to the property and a new trail was constructed and dedicated to Barbara A. Lipscomb, a long-time supporter and trustee of The Nature Conservancy.
  • In 2019 a new parking lot was constructed and plans for a trail began.
  • In 2017 the Conservancy completed a 272-acre acquisition that grew the size of the preserve to 650 acres.
  • Addressing the threat of invasive species, such as phragmites, narrow-leaved cattails and reed canary grass.

Keep an eye out for these SPECIES THAT USE THE PRESERVE

Plants: rare tamarack-hardwood bog community, grass-pink orchid, necklace sedge, early coral-root, bunchberry, bog bedstraw, butternut, marsh spear-grass, coarse smartweed, Hill's pondweed, bog willow, white water crowfoot, arrow arum, yellow water lily

Birds: bald eagle, hermit thrush, marsh wren, sedge wren, cerulean warbler, least bittern, Virginia rail, Canada warbler, yellow-bellied sapsucker, trumpeter swan, sandhill crane, wood duck, osprey, wild turkey, great blue heron

Mammals: beaver, otter, raccoon, mink, fox

Reptiles: spotted turtle, Northern water snake, snapping turtle

The Barbara A. Lipscomb Snow Lake Trail, named in honor of a former trustee and lifelong supporter of TNC, includes nearly two miles of easy hiking trails from which to explore the preserve’s key features, including:

SNOW LAKE

Keep an eye out for blue-winged teal, common merganser, lesser scaup and other waterfowl during spring and fall migrations. The rare lake chubsucker and other fish thrive beneath the surface, while floating aquatic plants, like the white water-crowfoot, grow along the shallow margin. River otter and beaver are also found here.

WETLANDS

In spring and summer, look for sandhill cranes among the cattails and grasses. Fragrant water lilies and spatterdock grow in the wettest areas, while red maples, yellow birch, speckled alder and swamp rose take root in shrub swamps. Spring-fed fens support the rare tamarack tree, Ohio’s only native conifer.

VERNAL POOLS

In spring, look for these seasonal pools, which provide excellent breeding habitat for frogs and salamanders and support a variety of native vegetation, like swamp white oak, pin oak and buttonbush shrub. Late February ushers in Ohio’s first blooms with the skunk cabbage’s strange, red, hood-shaped flowers.

Allow 2-3 hours for this trail, so there will be time to stop and observe the lake from the overlook and any wildlife sitings, listen to the birds and study the plant communities. Trail length is 1.8 miles.

The following activities are NOT permitted at The Lucia S. Nash 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

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

Lucia S. Nash Preserve is pet-friendly. Leashed pets (leash no longer than 6 feet) are welcome on the trails. In order to protect the delicate habitats, please make sure to clean up after your pets.

Lucia S. Nash Preserve Virtual Naturalist Hike Explore the Barbara A. Lipscomb Snow Lake Trail at the Lucia S. Nash Preserve in Northeast Ohio. TNC Ohio Director of Land Protection, Terry Seidel, walks with you along the trail, discussing the history of the property and pointing out the beauty and natural features of the preserve.

We need your help protecting these wetlands and other natural treasures of Ohio.