Ohio Hanging Rock Preserve

750 acres of uninterrupted forest in Scioto County – home to the Little Smokies of Ohio

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Rare Opportunity. In the Arc’s 25 year history, never before were we able to protect a block of forest of this scale. The first 600 acres became available in 2016 and a second 150 acre tract came up for sale in 2018, enabling us to create a 750 acre preserve and protect the rich biodiversity of Ohio’s southern Appalachian Front. It was only affordable because both sellers were willing to offer the property to us at a substantial bargain sale.

High Plant Diversity. This beautiful Appalachian hill country near the town of Minford has some of the most beautiful streams and lush wildflower displays we have ever seen in southeastern Ohio. Equally striking are the large sandstone outcrops at the higher elevations, sheltering many uncommon plants, including Mountain Laurel, Rose Shell Azalea, Pink Lady’s-slipper, Feather Bells, and the state listed Yellow Crown Beard.

Rare Animal Species. Ohio Hanging Rock is a summer hunting ground for two federally endangered bats, the Northern Long-eared and the Indiana Bat. It also shelters dense populations of Wormeating Warblers – the signature bird of large unbroken forests in the East.

Wetlands. Today the abundant clay in the region creates low elevation wetlands, and the preserve resounds seasonally with the calls of Spring Peepers, Eastern Gray Tree Frogs, and Leopard Frogs. See More Natural History.

Cultural History. The preserve was named for the many abandoned iron smelting furnaces found in the geological region, a 19th century industry for which this forest once provided fuel. Later in the same century the land was mined for high quality clay used to make fire brick. The remains of these clay mines still exist on the property. See More Cultural History.

Stewarding the Little Scioto. The preserve protects 8 miles of waterways that drain into the Little Scioto River. A 1.002 acre tract on the Little Scioto River recently became available in close proximity to the Ohio Hanging Rock Preserve, and the Arc is now fundraising to protect this tract. Click here to learn more!

Future Plans

The master plan for the preserve is to install a trail system that will be open to the general public. Arc trail systems rely on dedicated trail maintenance volunteers. If you would like to be contacted as a trail committee forms for Ohio Hanging Rock, please write ethan@arcofappalachia.org

Scroll a bit further to view the preserve map.


Beautiful moss covered outcropping at Ohio Hanging Rock
Roseshell Azalea in bloom at Ohio Hanging Rock
Rock formation at Ohio Hanging Rock. Photo courtesy of Louis Ulman, www.trailsidephoto.com.