Field Trip – Knoop Private Preserve and Camp Oty’Okwa

Leader: Paul and Cathy Knoop
Paul is retired from the National Audubon Society, where he served as the Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm Education Director for 35 years. He is presently involved in several land preservation efforts and serves as a Board Advisor for the Arc of Appalachia. Cathy is a retired environmental science teacher and worked as the development director for Camp Oty’Okwa. As a team, they teach graduate Natural History classes for Ashland University but have always had a devotion to teaching and inspiring children to love the natural world, using the outdoors as their classroom.  The Knoops are patient, kind, and supportive educators who have inspired burgeoning naturalists for generations. In 2016, they were the recipients of the Ohio Environmental Council’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Directions to Knoops’ from Route #33: From Route #33, exit on Rt. #180, going west toward Laurelville. In several miles you will reach Rt. # 678.  Take this exit to the left and go through Gibisonville. Continue on Rt. 678 until you reach a stop at Route # 374. Turn right on Rt. 374 and go ¼ mile to Keister Road.  Branch to the left on Keister (This road changes into Keifel at the township line). Travel on Keister/Keifel for about 4 miles. After passing a red barn on the left, look for a mailbox on the right with 19772.  Turn left into the drive opposite the mailbox (This will be the second drive on the left after the red barn).  Continue on the gravel drive to the house and barn.

Directions to Knoops’ from Route #56: Come East on Route #56 through Circleville. If coming from Columbus, exit off Route #23 at Circleville. Continue on Rt. 56 until you reach the town of Laurelville.  Stay on Rt. 56, bearing right in the middle of town. Continue for about 4.3 miles. Turn left on Big Pine Road. Drive on Big Pine for 3.8 miles and turn left on Keifel Road. Continue up the hill on Keifel for 1.2 miles. You will find a mailbox on the left side marked 19772. Pull into the gravel drive on the right, opposite the mailbox. Continue on the gravel drive to the house and barn.

Habitat Focus: For this field day we will be visiting two sites: Hemlock Hollow in the AM and Camp Oty’Okwa’s Old Growth Forest in the PM. The trips include typical Hocking County landscape including sandstone cliffs, waterfalls, and cool flowing streams.

Time & Meeting Place: Meet at Knoop Private Preserve at 9:50am and the hike will begin promptly at 10:00am

Bring: Be sure to pack a bottle of water and bring a day pack for your lunch which will be enjoyed along the trail. We recommend packing a piece of plastic to sit on in case the ground is wet. Please also bring a hand lens. 

Difficulty: Easy.

Nancy Stranahan Bio Photo