Field Trip – Scioto Brush Creek Preserves
Davis Memorial, Chalet Nivale, and Shoemaker Preserves
General Hike Location: All three of these preserves are in the general vicinity of Peebles, Ohio in Adams County.
Driving Distance from the Appalachian Forest Museum: 40 minutes.
Time & Meeting Location: Meet at 9:30 am at Davis Memorial. Tour begins promptly at 9:45 am and will end mid-afternoon. We will be visiting at least two of the preserves – all three depending on time.
Bring: Be sure to bring a bottle of water and a daypack to carry your lunch. We recommend that you pack a piece of plastic to sit on in case the ground is wet.
Difficulty: The trails are relatively easy to moderate. We will be walking on narrow trails, and covering roughly 2.5 miles all day. There are no long ascents or descents. Davis Memorial and Shoemaker have well-established easily-navigated hiking trails. Chalet Nivale has narrower trails with a few short descents and ascents and unimproved stream crossings with shallow water up to mid-ankle. Wear water-worthy footgear.
The beautiful limestone karst country and the preserves within the Scioto Brush Creek watershed are one of Ohio’s best-kept botanical secrets. Scioto Brush shelters some of the most pristine tributaries in the state. In the spring, three notable natural areas offer floral showcases: Davis Memorial State Nature Preserve, Shoemaker State Nature Preserve, and the Arc’s Chalet Nivale Preserve.
Davis Memorial is a 168-acre state nature preserve boasts over 20 state listed plants, including the state-endangered Walter’s violet, as well as many other spring wildflowers in a wide diversity of habitats. Because of the preserve’s weathered karst landscape, wetlands, and prairie-influenced forests, Davis Memorial has a high biodiversity count for wildflower species throughout the growing season.
Chalet Nivale has a dense display of snow trilliums in March and boasts the state-listed Early Buttercup, which, if we are lucky, we might catch in bloom. In mid-April, Chalet Nivale shows its charms with a wonderful lush abundance that is classic to this limestone-bedrock region – featuring grandiflorum trilliums, rue anemones, rock cress, wild ginger, and hepatica as well as gorgeous rock formations.
Shoemaker The 22-acre site protects several significant natural features including seven state-listed plants and a showy collection of wildflowers. The site also features two natural arches, dolomite cliffs and slump blocks harboring several species of ferns and other plants associated with calcareous cliff communities.