Downloads: Trail Map
Hawk Hill Loop, 0.7 miles, easy.
This trail originates from the preserve’s parking lot and gently meanders through an outstanding short grass prairie. The best time to visit is in late July to early August when the Blazing Star, Rattlesnake Master, False Blue Indigo, and Prairie Dock are in full bloom. The trail passes by a dry, sandy area inhabited by Post and Blackjack oaks, both southern species not commonly found in Ohio, then enters a cool pine forest. About half way through the trail you will have the option to take a spur to the Bald Hill and Cedar Barren loops. Continuing on, the trail makes a gradual ascent to the highest point on the trail, with the descent returning you back to the parking area.
Bald Hill Loop, 0.7 miles, easy.
This trail is an optional spur off the main Hawk Hill Loop trail. Shortly after taking the spur, you will cross Chaparral Road. Please take care to listen and look both ways for automobile traffic before crossing. You will then be met with a fork in the trail. The left takes a spur to the Cedar Barren Loop and Prairie View path. Stay on the Bald Hill Loop by taking the right hand of the fork. A short, relatively flat distance later, you will again have the option of taking the loop to the right or left. Heading right offers a nice gentle climb to the top of Bald Hill, through a stunning patch of prairie wildflowers that bloom at their peak in late July and Early August. At the top of the hill you will follow along a line of stately cedar trees before descending back down to the start of the loop. Continue straight until you rejoin with the Hawk Hill loop. Take a right to ascend gradually to the top of the hill before descending back to the parking lot.
Cedar Barren Loop, 0.5 miles, easy.
Reach this loop by taking the Bald Hill Loop spur off the main Hawk Hill Loop. Take the left fork to the top of the prairie, not the Bald Hill Loop to the right. An optional spur offers a vista overlooking the prairie. Returning from the optional spur, turn into the thicket where the trail descends into the most densely forested area of the preserve. Continuing on, the trail makes a loop and brings you back to the Bald Hill Loop, which rejoins the Hawk Hill Loop before returning to the parking lot.