Ash Cave Eastern Reserve

A Superlative Forest. The quality of the timber on this land is extraordinary. There are no signs of tree stumps on the property, and our best guess is that the last harvest took place at least 80 years ago. Today nearly all the major trees boast impressive girths. With the high density of marketable trees, if these trees were to be harvested today it would be a devastating cut, severely opening up the canopy to sunlight, the soils to the eroding forces of rainfall, and the understory to the colonization of invasive plants, which, at the moment, fortuitously, are nearly non-existent. Standing in this forest today, in every direction you turn your head you see pillar after pillar of strong, healthy, rapidly growing, 18-22 inch oaks and hickories. The timber value of this forest is staggering.

Impressive Rock Formations. In addition to an extraordinary forest, the property is dissected by impressively steep, hemlock-shrouded deep ravines. The cliffs bordering Queer Creek are very comely, as these illustrations show, including cliffs and rock shelters, one of them quite large.

But most exciting of all is the location. The entire west boundary of the property is shared with that of Ash Cave State Park. A person could hike from Ash Cave Eastern Reserve, all the way to Ash Cave, without ever stepping foot on private land. Ash Cave Eastern Reserve represents a major expansion to protected lands bordering in the Hocking Hills region, which is a significant statement, considering that Hocking Hills State Park attracts over 4 million people a year and has the most beautiful geologic formations in all of Ohio, arguably even beyond our borders.

Can I see this property sometime? Yes. Our vision is to establish what we hope will be a new annual event for the people of Ohio –  a fall hike leading from the Ash Cave Eastern Reserve to Ash Cave, and back. Otherwise, this property will be kept relatively quiet and protected as a buffer for the heavily visited Ash Cave trail complex to the west. The property IS fully visible from the road. You are welcome to take a drive-by.

One can hike from Ash Cave Eastern Reserve all the way to Ash Cave without ever crossing private lands. Photo of Ash Cave by Lewis Ulman, Trailsidephoto.com

A remarkably mature and healthy forest covers the entirety of the property, including hemlock groves in the deep ravines. Courtesy of Tom Croce Photography.

Map showing location of the Ash Cave Eastern Preserve. Red Rock Bluffs is a different tract, recently protected by the Arc of Appalachia not far from Old Man’s Cave.

Crystal clear streams flow through moss-covered rock formations. Photo courtesy of Kathryn Cubert.

The rock formations lining East Queer Creek on the property are outstanding. Photo courtesy of Jerry and Barb Jividen