Chalet Nivale Preserve
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Ohio Birding Day Hike
Chalet Nivale Preserve Trails
Crawdad Creek Trail – 1.2 mile loop
Crawdad Creek follows a verdant dolomite stream valley bordered by 40 foot vertical rock walls. The valley is rich in spring wildflowers and very scenic geologically. Adams County forests often have a prairie influence. Therefore many interesting prairie wildflowers cling on under the shade of the canopy. The water quality of the streams rates among the cleanest headwater streams in all of Ohio.
Early Buttercup Trail – 1 mile loop
Early Buttercup Trail follows a verdant dolomite stream valley that has created a gentle valley on the western portion of the preserve – a separate stream from Crawdad Creek. This is the best trail to admire spring wildflowers in mid April, and the early showcase of the rare snow trilliums that bloom in mid to late March. The water quality of the streams rates among the cleanest headwater streams in all of Ohio, harboring a high diversity of invertebrates and fish for its small size.
Golden Meadows Trail – 1 mile loop
Golden Meadows Trail is a pleasant walk through a sunny meadow that has established itself on land that was managed as an agricultural field by the previous owner. The meadow spreads across a wide swale and affords aesthetic views of the higher elevation forests that embrace Chalet Nivale to the north.
About Chalet Nivale Preserve
The dolomite bedrock of Chalet Nivale creates a compelling karst-country landscape of springs, seeps, grottos, and sinkholes. These alkaline soils and bedrocks are renowned for producing a diverse assemblage of rare and endangered wildflowers, ferns, and shrubs, including herbs with prairie-associations, such as Climbing Milkvine, Stiff Gentian, and Tall Larkspur. Ancient White Cedar Trees, isolated hundreds of miles south of their normal range in the North Woods, cling to the bluffs of the cliffs. Chalet Nivale also shelters one of the largest colonies of snow trilliums in Ohio.They are the first of the spring wildflowers to emerge, usually in mid to late March, and are often caught in a late winter snowfall. Other rare spring wildflowers at Chalet Nivale include the limestone-loving Walter’s Violet, the smallest flowering violet in the eastern United States.
The three hiking trails at the 106-acre Chalet Nivale Preserve on Bacon Flat Road in Adams County are open to the public every day of the year from sunrise to sunset. Sorry, pets are not allowed at Chalet Nivale nor most of the Arc’s trail systems – please see Fort Hill and Serpent Mound where pets are permitted on leash. Two loop trails meander through the low floodplain created by two short tributaries of Scioto Brush Creek that have sculpted the bedrock into mossy slump blocks and intriguing outcrops, bounded by vertical cliffs. A third spur trail dissects a meadow that lies like a low bowl – surrounded by a rim of Appalachian hills. The spur trail provides pleasant panoramas of the surrounding hill country, especially during fall color season.
From Chalet Nivale Preserve webpage
No restroom facilities.