Samson/Obrist Woods is one-of-a-kind, in the sense that it is the only preserve in the Arc’s system created entirely by donation from benevolent landowners. Nestled just north of the ancient Teays River Valley, in an area comprised of ridges and ravines, the preserve projects a mature forest composed of oaks, maples, dogwoods, and sassafras trees. Click here for more preserve information

Trail Offerings & Details:  Samson/Obriest consists of one trail, a 1.3 mile loop. The Cinnamon Fern Trail offers a variety of features, from rich and abundant ferns and acidic soil loving plants, a hemlock grove, towering oak trees, and a large natural recessed sandstone cave. The trail descends toward the recess cave, with a small 20 foot waterfall cascading over its edge, then follows along the rich banks of the McConnell Creek, where large verdant cinnamon ferns grow in profusion.  As the seasons shift into fall, the ferns change into a brilliant yellow, along with the vibrant colors of fall forest foliage. Before hiking, click here for hours and directions.

Be sure to review hiking regulations before visiting. Click here to view. You are entering a highly protected nature preserve. Regulations include staying on the trail at all times, and not collecting nor disturbing any plant including wildflowers, nor animals and minerals. Please help us keep the preserve a true Sanctuary for the plants and animals, and future visitors.

Important Safety Warning: Trails are narrow and unlevel. It is against regulations to go off trail and extremely dangerous. Other standard outdoor perils exist, such as ticks, poison ivy and treacherous footing in the winter or after a rain. Visitors must understand that they hike at their own risk. For their well being, children must be kept close to their guardians and carefully in hand. Notice:  This preserve has an unusually high number of very small deer ticks and chiggers during the growing season. Staying on trail will minimize contact. We also highly recommend using insect repellent on your socks and shoes. A natural option is spraying with rose geranium oil diluted 1:4 with alcohol. Please hike at your own risk and do thorough tick checks after hiking. Think small!

About our Dog Friends: Dogs are allowed on the trail with a six feet or smaller leash. Please be advised that the ticks population at this trail is unusually high.