Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park
eBird Bar Charts by Season
Ohio Birding Day Hike
Nelson-Kennedy Ledges Trails
Hikers will enjoy the several trails that wander through the Nelson Ledges to formations like Devil’s Icebox, Indian Pass and Old Maid’s Kitchen.
White Trail – 1 mile – Easy
Yellow Trail – .75 mile – Moderate
Blue Trail – .75 mile – Moderate
Red Trail – .5 mile – Difficult
About Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park
The spectacular rock formations at Nelson-Kennedy Ledges have become trademarks of the park. These rock formations are among the few outcrops in northern Ohio still exposed to view. Most of the outcrops elsewhere have been covered with soil and rock left by receding glaciers.
The remarkable sandstone cliff formations resulted from the forces of erosion–wind, water, freezing, and thawing–that wore away at the softer rock layers. As these soft layers eroded, large blocks of rock called slump blocks fell away leaving more resistant layers to form ledges above.
The jumbled rocks and shaded rock faces are home to a wide variety of wildflowers, trees, and ferns. The spring wildflower show includes spring beauties, hepatica, and trillium and features the rare red trillium, which grows in great numbers along the ledges.
The beech-maple forest harbors a few tree species that are more common in cooler climates: yellow birch, Canadian hemlock, and Canada yew are common here. Some of these trees cling to the rock faces, their roots pushing into every available crevice. In the shelter of the roots and shaded by the leafy canopy above, ferns such as the Christmas and maidenhair fern grow in abundance. Others such as the marginal shield fern, grape fern, wood fern and common polypody are more unusual for this part of the state.
The leafy canopy is home to a variety of songbirds, while small mammals such as skunk, raccoon and fox squirrels inhabit other areas of the park.
From Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park webpage
Restrooms on site, non-flush toilets.