Brown's Lake Bog Preserve

The bog and surrounding 80 acres of lowland forest were purchased by The Nature Conservancy in 1966.

Open to the Public


Things To Do

Plants, Amphibians, and Reptiles View All

Plan Your Visit

Hours and Conditions View All

Get Directions

Wayne County, within the Western Allegheny Plateau Ecoregion.

Why the Conservancy Selected This Site
Brown's Lake Bog represents a very rare plant community in Ohio.  The naturally acidic properties of sphagnum, coupled with its ability to insulate the water below from rapid air temperature changes, provided the right environment for the creation of the bog and its relict boreal plant communities.  More than twenty rare plants are found here.

The greatest threat to the integrity of the glacial relict bog community is succession.  Some of this may be unnaturally accelerated due to increased runoff and changes in water chemistry, possibly caused by surrounding agricultural areas.  Without intervention, the entire kettle depression would become a swamp forest.  If woody plants are permitted to encroach upon the sphagnum mat, these shrubs and trees would eventually shade out the bog species that make this area unique.

What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing
The Nature Conservancy is working to maintain the existing open bog mat and expand the open mat to include currently shrubbed over areas around the bog lake.  This area has been very heavily encroached upon by shrub succession over the past half century.  The Conservancy also manages the preserve for visitor use by maintaining the boardwalk and trails.

Download and view the Brown's Lake Bog Preserve Trail Map and Guide

Why You Should Visit
This 100-acre preserve is a bog with its floating sphagnum moss mat, a 7-acre kettle hole lake and an outstanding example of a glacially formed hill known as a Kame.  Brown's Lake Bog is one of the few remaining kettle hole peatlands in Ohio.  The bog and surrounding 80 acres of lowland forest were purchased by The Nature Conservancy in 1966 and declared a National Natural Landmark in 1968.  A 1990 purchase of 19 acres secured ownership of all of Brown's Lake.

What to See: Plants

  • Bog buckbean
  • Rose pogonia orchid
  • Mud sedge
  • Pitcher-plant
  • Round-leaved sundew
  • Large cranberry
  • Marsh fivefinger
  • Grass-pink orchid
  • Tawny cottongrass
  • American water-pennywort
  • White beak-rush
  • Slender willow
  • Scheuchzeria

What to See: Amphibian and Reptile

  • Four-toed salamander

Open year-round, dawn to dusk.

Open to the public for activities such as birdwatching, photography and hiking.  Please stay on the boardwalk and nature trails to avoid trampling sensitive species.


From Wooster:

  • Travel State Route 3 south past the intersection of U.S. 30
  • Turn south onto Elyria Road
  • Follow Elyria Road south for three miles, then turn west on Brown Road
  • Park on the south side of the road

Have you been to this preserve? Are you thinking of visiting? See what others are saying about their experiences and add your comments below.

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Time for you to join the discussion. Tell us about your experience at this preserve. What plants and animals did you see? When did you go? You can help others plan their visit when you share your thoughts. And thank you for visiting one of our nature preserves!

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