Overlook on the Joan Jones Portman Trail.
Portman Trail Overlook on the Joan Jones Portman Trail. © Randall Schieber


New Section of Buckeye Trail Open at Edge of Appalachia Preserve

Dublin, OH

The Nature Conservancy and Buckeye Trail Association have opened a new 16-mile section of the 1,454-mile Buckeye Trail.  The new trail winds through the 20,000-acre Richard and Lucile Durrell Edge of Appalachia Preserve, co-owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy and Cincinnati Museum Center.

The new trail is a joint project of The Nature Conservancy and the Buckeye Trail Association.  The Nature Conservancy owns the land and helped fund the installation of the trail, with support from the Clean Ohio Fund. The Buckeye Trail Association constructed the trail and will maintain it. 

Located in Southern Ohio’s Adams County, The Edge of Appalachia Preserve is Ohio’s largest privately owned nature preserve. As its name suggests, the preserve is situated at the edge of two of Ohio’s most dramatic landscapes: The rich hardwoods forests of the Appalachian Plateau to the east and the native prairie grassland of the Interior Low Plateau to the west.  The preserve is one of Ohio’s most significant natural areas, protecting more than 100 rare plant and animal species. 

“We continue to work to connect our Edge of Appalachia Preserve with Shawnee State Forest and are proud to host this new trail,” said Bill Stanley, state director for The Nature Conservancy in Ohio. “It provides the hiking and nature-loving community with a fantastic way to get deep into the woods to explore this unique, wild place.”   

This section of the Buckeye Trail is also coincident with the North Country National Scenic Trail, which stretches for 4,600 miles from New York to North Dakota and is the longest national scenic trail in the United States.

“I’m really proud of what Buckeye Trail volunteers are capable of and what they are able to create for everyone to enjoy,” said Andrew Bashaw, executive director for the Buckeye Trail Association. “It’s one thing to put a pack on your back and head out for an amazing weekend adventure on the Buckeye Trail with your friends, but it’s something extra special to put on your pack, carry a Pulaski out into the wilderness and dig a hiking trail out of the side of a hill for days. It’s a special person who enjoys not just making a dirt path through the forest, but creating adventures for future generations to discover.”

“Cincinnati Museum Center's Edge of Appalachia staff use the preserve's existing trails to educate both local school children and adults from around the region,” said Chris Bedel, preserve manager for Cincinnati Museum Center. “The new Buckeye Trail will be an important resource for getting folks into the heart of the preserve to learn, study and be mesmerized by the outstanding biodiversity and natural beauty of the preserve.”

With this trail addition, the Edge of Appalachia Preserve now boasts 24 miles of hiking trails—including Christian and Emma Goetz Buzzardroost Rock, The Charles A. Eulett Wilderness, E. Lucy Braun Lynx Prairie and Joan Jones Portman trails.  The trails are all free and open to the public, drawing visitors from both inside and outside Adams County and promoting local tourism, which supports one in every 14 jobs in the county.

 “We strive to be a good neighbor, and over the years our support has taken many forms,” said Stanley.  “We’re pleased that through the expansion of the Buckeye Trail we can continue to help attract visitors to Adams County and ensure the preserve is an asset for current and future generations.”

Single-night primitive camping along the new trail is available by written permit for backpackers. To obtain permits, please contact The Nature Conservancy at 937-544-2188 or ohio@tnc.org.  

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries and territories: 38 by direct conservation impact and 34 through partners, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.