Visiting the Highlands Nature Sanctuary
Appalachian Forest Museum & Museum Hiking Trails
Forest Museum Trails and Museum are open daily 9:30am – 4:30pm, May – September and Weekends ONLY, April and October, free to the public. Sorry, dogs are not permitted on these trails.
Etawah Woods Trail – 1.2 Miles – .5 mile loop trail through the forested bluffs of the Rocky Fork Gorge with an optional spur trail that leads you into the gorge along the Rocky Fork Creek to the three sisters.
Valley of the Ancients Trail – .5 Mile – A short but stunning trail leads you into the Rocky Fork Gorge passing by the one cave remaining open to the public, Marble Cave. The trail leads you along the Rocky Fork Creek gradually ascending back up the gorge and ending at Cave Road.
Barrier Ridge Trail – 3 Mile Loop – A long gradual climb up to the top of Barrier Ridge with a faster descent. This is a remote, deeply forested trail. We recommend carrying a trail map and your cell phone since sometimes the route is difficult to find in autumn when the leaves have just fallen. The trail begins in the lower Museum parking lot south of the Museum at the park’s vehicle exit on Cave Road. Look for a set of stone stairs on the right hand side of the lower parking lot, roughly halfway down.
Wilderness Hiking Trails at the Highlands Nature Sanctuary
Open sunrise to sunset year-round.
Trail Maps available upon request at the Appalachian Forest Museum during open hours. For descriptions of the trails and directions, click the map below. Dogs only permitted on the Crowpoint trail.
Directions to the Appalachian Forest Museum
Highlands Nature Sanctuary
Highlands Nature Sanctuary is located in Highland County in south central Ohio, approximately 25 miles west of Chillicothe, and 17 miles east of Hillsboro, four miles west of Bainbridge, and four miles east of Rainsboro, It lies one mile south of Highway 50 on Cave Road.
Cave Road is located immediately east of the bridge over the Rocky Fork Creek. Watch for the highway signs. Turn south on Cave Road and follow for one mile until you reach the Appalachian Forest Museum. Parking is on the left hand side, across the road from the Museum.