Fort Hill

Ancient Earthworks. The major earthwork at Fort Hill is an ancient earthen-walled enclosure constructed on top of a large flat-topped ridge. The earthen-stone wall has a circumference over one and a half miles, its span interrupted with at 36 definite made-man openings, and three more possible man-made openings. The wall itself ranges from 6 to 15 feet in height, averages 30 feet wide at its base, and encloses 35.3 acres. It was built to follow the natural contour of the rim of the hill, and is bordered on the inside wall by a substantial ditch. The total length of the embankment has been surveyed at 8,619 feet.

Eleven Miles of Hiking Trails. A total of eleven miles of hiking trails exist at Fort Hill, offering some of the best hiking in the entire state of Ohio. Because of the relatively long length of the preserve’s three trails, they are best suited for hiking enthusiasts. Hikers, please note back country trail conditions. It is wise to dedicate approximately one hour per mile in order to leisurely and safely enjoy Fort Hill’s back country trails. The trails are generally primitive in nature, being narrow, uneven, and traversing rolling hills that can sometimes approach steep. After a rain or in the spring after winter snow melt, the paths can be muddy, so please be prepared with proper foot gear. Before coming in the fall/winter, be sure to check the dates the hiking trails are closed for the deer management hunt. Fort Hill is a protected natural area. Regulations require that hikers remain on the trails. Harvesting or disturbing plant and animal life is not permitted. Fishing is not permitted. Dogs are allowed, but must be kept on a leash at all times.

Old Growth Forest. Fort Hill boasts a stunning natural area of 1300 acres, sheltering one of the largest and oldest contiguous forests in all of Ohio. It is estimated that the park preserves over 800 vascular species of plants within its boundaries, an outstanding remnant of the temperate deciduous forest that once covered nearly all of the eastern United States, and in earlier times, sheltered as many as 100,000 species of plants and animals. In 2015 Fort Hill was officially inducted as part of the Old Growth Forest Network.