Ginger Ridge Road Addition
to Ohio River Bluffs Preserve
Expanding Ohio River Bluffs to 300 Acres
Acres: 20 Project Value: $58,000 Balance Due: $0
Thanks to an anonymous donor, we are delighted to announce this campaign is complete!
If Barrett’s Rim is the floral jewel of the Rocky Fork Gorge, then Ohio River Bluffs is surely the crowning gem of the entire Arc of Appalachia Preserve System. Nowhere else in the Arc is there such unrestrained wildflower exuberance. From the base of the bluffs facing the Ohio River, all the way to the top of the ridgetop, are solid tiers of wildflowers – wild hyacinths, bluebells, toadshade trilliums, twinleaf and dwarf larkspurs, just to name a few.
When we heard there was a tract for sale immediately adjacent to the Ohio River Bluffs Preserve earlier this year, we simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try to buy it. This acquisition takes us to the forested ridgetop on Ginger Ridge Road, providing significantly more protection for the Bradford Run watershed, and providing us our first road frontage and access on the north boundary. We’ve come a long way at the Bluffs from our first 62 acre purchase back in 2005! Ohio River Bluffs is arguably the most botanically stunning of all the Arc preserves, but it has more to boast about than just wildflowers. The preserve shelters a beautiful steep bluff forest assemblage on its dolomite banks, dominated by yellow buckeye, chinquapin oaks, hackberry, sugar maple, and bitternut hickories. The well-drained rocky soils harbor several species of woodland salamanders, and the ridgetop offers uplifting panoramas of the Ohio River far below, and the hills of Kentucky on the far shore.
Arc staff members, Tim and Ethan, and volunteers have been working hard all year on cutting a trail system at Ohio River Bluffs that originates on Gilkison Hollow Road, a road that is literally lined with carpets of Blue-eyed Mary’s in the spring (see photo right by Tim). The completion of this trail, estimated yet to occur in 2021, will be a significant advancement to the hiking trail opportunities afforded to the public by the Arc of Appalachia.