As you travel east through Adams County in south-central Ohio, the rugged hills of the Allegheny Plateau rise abruptly above the countryside. Here, in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, sprawls one of the most biologically diverse collections of natural systems in the Midwestern United States.
In this region, The Nature Conservancy, in partnership with the Cincinnati Museum Center, owns and manages a series of nearly contiguous preserves—collectively called The Richard and Lucile Durrell Edge of Appalachia Preserve System.
Ohio’s largest privately owned protected natural area, “the Edge,” as it’s called, boasts rugged woodlands, prairie openings, waterfalls, giant promontories and clear streams.
Four areas in the preserve, Lynx Prairie, Buzzardroost Rock, Red Rock and the Wilderness, are registered National Natural Landmarks—testimony to their national significance. All told, more than 100 rare plant and animal species make their home within the preserve system.
The Edge of Appalachia Preserve boasts nearly 10 miles of hiking trails. We invite you to explore this natural treasure!
Visitors to the preserve will find mixed mesophytic forests, flowering and medicinal plants, and Appalachian herbs like great rhododendron and Canby’s mountain-lover.
Cerulean warblers and other neotropical birds abound during warmer months, while imperiled animals like the Indiana bat, green salamander and Allegheny woodrat persist throughout the year.
The Nature Conservancy is expanding the preserve by connecting it with nearby Shawnee State Forest. The effort will protect critical forest habitat and important freshwater resources like Brush Creek.
You can help protect this natural gem for both people and nature. Donate now and make your Pledge to the Edge!