Rock Run

Acres: 192     Total Cost: $388,049     Balance to Raise: $102,742


Donate to Rock Run

We have the opportunity to expand the Rock Run Preserve

by 192 acres, bringing us even closer to our goal of making

Rock Run one of the best protected watersheds in all of Ohio!


Breathtakingly Deep Ravine. The Rock Run Preserve is an Arc owned 400-acre region protecting the Appalachian hill country surrounding the exceptionally deep ravine of Rock Run, a small but pristine creek that flows directly out of the Shawnee Forest into the Ohio River. Rock Run lies near the southern borders of the state forest north of the Ohio River, east of Rome, and west of Buena Vista. This section of the Ohio River is known as Sandy Springs. Here the north shore of the river is bordered by wide, flat expanses of deep sand terraces.

Rock Run’s highly dissected hill-country is exceptionally scenic, highly bio-diverse, and completely forested. The hillsides show exposed layers of both shale and sandstone. The lower elevations of the hills protect a hemlock-black birch forest ecosystem, the upper elevations an oak-hickory forest. A public hiking trail is scheduled to open to the public no later than 2019.

Our Conservation Goal for Rock Run. The Arc of Appalachia’s goal is to complete the conservation protection of the entire drainage of Rock Run. To protect an entire watershed anywhere in Ohio is in most cases simply not feasible, but the relatively small size of Rock Run’s drainage and its location in the heart of Shawnee State Forest makes it a leading candidate for success. Since 2003, the Arc has been buying private property in the watershed of Rock Run, picking up parcels that were never acquired by the State Forest. We want to make Rock Run one of the best protected watershed in all of Ohio, all that is left to do is raise the required matching funds from supportive people.

Our Partners. The Arc has many partners working toward the goal of protecting Rock Run, including the Ohio Environmental Council (OEC). OEC is currently campaigning to ask the Ohio Division of Forestry (DOF) to cancel pending logging sales within the Rock Run Watershed. Learn more about their campaign by clicking here. 

Legendary Wildness.  The 300-foot depth of Rock Run’s valley is one of the deepest in the county, and provides habitat for bobcat, timber rattlesnakes, and Allegheny wood rats. Rock Run’s watershed contains a rare forest association of black birch, hemlock, and sweetgum that is restricted in the state to the Ohio River Valley. To our knowledge, Rock Run is the only location giving this type of forest permanent protection in Ohio. Not surprisingly, Rock Run’s forest floor botanicals are spectacular. Learn More About Rock Run’s Natural Treasures.


Meadow Beauties grow in disturbed sandy openings at Rock Run.
Rock Run's steep hillsides are composed of layers of shale and sandstone, and the creek in many areas is filled with a rubble of small and large pieces of sandstone. Photo by John Srofe.
Rock Run's deep valley provides habitat for bobcat.