The Nature Conservancy
Lynx, Ohio 45650
Lynx Prairie webpage
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Photos by Ken Ostermiller
Lynx Prairie Trails
Within Lynx Prairie Preserve are three plainly marked interconnecting loop trails, named Red, White, and Green. Their combined length is 1.5 miles with no steep hills to climb. The trails loop around and through the preserve’s prairies, where prairie grasses and tall flowers dominate the scene in late summer and early fall.
Parts of the trail system traverse through woods dominated by native Virginia pines and red cedar. Watch along the trail during July and August for an unusual member of the orchid family, known as crested coralroot, which grows underground and only occasionally sends up a one-half to two-foot high purple and yellow flowering spike.
About Lynx Prairie
If you’re interested in seeing where The Nature Conservancy got its start in Ohio, Lynx Prairie Preserve is the place to visit. It was here, where islands of grassland support rare species like Texas sandwort and bluehearts, that in 1959 a group of ecologists made a small investment in the future of Ohio’s natural resources, paying $1,000 for the 42-acre parcel of prairie.Designated a National Natural Landmark in 1967, Lynx Prairie was protected to save the best of the few remaining remnants of the once extensive prairies of this area. This preserve features a series of natural grassland openings that appear as islands in an otherwise forested area. These natural openings, called cedar barrens or glades, are prevalent throughout the preserve system.
Prairie-like in nature, cedar barrens have thin, shallow soils overlying dolomitic (Silurian) bedrock, a significant amount of tree and shrub growth, and an abundance of native grasses and wildflowers.
From Lynx Prairie webpage
Tips for birding Edge of Appalachia Preserve
From Ohio Ornithological Society website
About Edge of Appalachia Preserve
This 20,000-acre preserve system is referred to as “The Edge.” Each separate preserve and trail offers unique qualities. Visitors will enjoy gorgeous views, distinctive geology and peaceful trails. It is also a great place for birding especially in spring and fall. Activities include: Hiking, birding, fishing, kayaking/canoeing, wildlife-watching, nature photography, and observing native plants.
Ancient forests of massive oaks and American chestnut once blanketed nearly all of what would become southern and eastern Ohio. When the first white settlers arrived in the Ohio Valley, wolves and elk wandered this rustic landscape of pristine rivers and fertile forests.
Yet by the early 1900s, about 90 percent of the original forest cover had been cleared to make room for farmland and to feed the iron furnaces of southern Ohio – severely degrading part of North America’s oldest and most biologically diverse forest systems.
Today, Ohio’s Appalachian forests are returning, with nearly 40 percent of the region cloaked in mixed hardwood forest. The Nature Conservancy’s 20,000-acre Edge of Appalachia Preserve is a key component of this recovery process, mending habitats on a large scale and preserving the landscape’s unique natural legacy.
Edge of Appalachia Preserve (The Nature Conservancy) webpage
No restroom facilities.