Honeycomb Rocks

30 SPECTACULAR ACRES next to Cline Farm

the most beautiful property we’ve ever protected

 Total Project Cost: $480,000

Protecting the most singular rock formations in the Clear Creek Watershed. While we were working to purchase Cline Farm, the neighboring property just to the south of Cline Farm changed hands. The new owners were Hocking County natives with deep farming roots in the community. A mosaic of open fields and deep woodlands, they had purchased the land as both an investment property for their retirement and as a working farm. It certainly is an ideal development property. The farm had a long, level road frontage in the heart of Hocking Hills that could easily be subdivided into extremely valuable house sites.

Soon after making the purchase, the new owners worked out arrangements to conduct a timber harvest of the considerably mature woodlands that rimmed the farm’s pasturelands. As the logging operation moved closer to Cline Farm’s borders, we knew it was our responsibility to know our boundary lines better, especially considering the rock features lay so close to the line. The Arc reached out to our new neighbor, who was very friendly and considerate, and he reassured us that he would respect our boundaries. Because there was not enough time to survey the boundaries, we asked Louie and Pat Ulman, two  Arc supporters and dedicated volunteers, to photograph the most outstanding rock features and record their GPS points on a copy of the county auditor’s map to give us at least a rough idea of where our boundaries lay.

The boundaries of Cline Farm weren’t where we expected them to be. Louie reported back with extremely disturbing news. Although everyone we talked to locally had assured us that the most beautiful of the rock formations were inside Cline Farm’s boundaries, Louie’s GPS points—reproduced in the map shown at right—revealed a different story. If the auditor’s map were correct, other than Paradise, the most impressive rock formations were all on our neighbor’s side of the line. Fortunately, the neighbor was not only willing to sell the corner with these features to the Arc, but he agreed to wait until 2023 to close, affording us time to seek funding from Clean Ohio for its purchase.

Protecting one of the most valuable forests in Hocking County. The 17-acres of woods on Honeycomb Rocks boasts an outstanding timber value of $7,976/acre. It is – by far – the most valuable woodlands the Arc has ever had appraised in its 27 year history of wildlands preservation work. The professional forester who described the timber deemed it as “extraordinary” due to the immensity of the old oaks that occupied the site, several of them in excess of 40 inches in diameter. Because Honeycomb Rocks’ forests have experienced such minimal disturbance points over the last 150 years,  the woodlands are not only beautiful and healthy, but biodiverse, supporting large numbers of native insects, birds, salamanders, ferns, lichens and wildflowers.

Connected to a Large Unfragmented Block of Forest. A video captured by Lewis Ulman at Honeycomb Rocks demonstrates the closed nature of the tree canopy at Honeycomb Rocks and helps viewers visualize the immensity of the 5000-plus acre forest block of Clear Creek Metro Parks in which Honeycomb Rocks is embedded, along with Camp Wyandot. Click here to view this and other related videos. As ecologists have long demonstrated, the most important component of any venture to preserve biodiversity is to work on large blocks of land and reduce the disturbance of fragmentation and edge effects.

Honeycomb Rocks will ensure access to Cline Farm Preserve. The same features that made the Honeycomb Rocks property so valuable for development – that is – ample road access to level ground and outstanding scenery – are the same features that made the property so valuable to the Arc. Importantly, buying this property would provide walking egress and parking access to the Arc’s Cline Farm Preserve for the very first time – allowing us to direct access Honeycomb Rocks and Cline Farm for the purpose of trail maintenance and land stewardship.

Portion of Salt Peter Cave. Lewis Ulman

A portion of Salt Peter Cave at Honeycomb Rocks. Photo by Lewis Ulman, trailsidephoto.com

Campers from Camp Wyandot at Cline Farm. Photo by Nikki Spretnak.

Map showing location of major rock features on the Honeycomb Rocks tract

Soaring Rock. Photo by Lewis Ulman, trailsidephoto.com

Clean Ohio Grant was Approved! We are delighted to announce that we just received the uplifting news that our Clean Ohio grant submission for Honeycomb Rocks was approved!!

Sentinel Wall. Photo by Lewis Ulman, trailsidephoto.com

Honeycomb Rocks Videos

 

Closed tree canopy at Honeycomb Rocks. Video by Lewis Ulman, trailsidephoto.com
Hydrology of Honeycomb Rocks. Video by Lewis Ulman, trailsidephoto.com