Field Trip Options: Pick a leader, destination, habitat, and/or level that you wish to take. If the listing doesn’t say “closed,” it is open for registration. Make a note of the field trip # as you will need it when you register. Each field trip will be limited to 12 people.
Field Trip 3 – Denny Private Preserve in Knox County ~2 Spots Remaining!
Leader Guy Denny
Level 1: Guy Denny’s prairie and beech-maple forest serve as the study site of this field trip. Guy is an expert in Midwest native prairies, having established a spectacular 22 acre tallgrass prairie in Knox County that he has maintained for over 30 years. There, 627 species have been observed and documented on I-Naturalist to date! The field trip will be focused on exploring the trees that make up a mature Beech-Maple forest community within the glaciated till plains of the Central Highlands in Knox County. Additionally, participants will also be introduced to various other tree species characteristic of central Ohio woodlands. More Information.
Field Trip 5 – Mathias Grove in Hocking Hills ~ Filling Fast
Leader Clyde Gosnell
Level 1: The diversity of the 100+ acre Mathias Grove includes mature tree species complemented by a remarkable understory full of wildflowers, lichens, fungi, mosses, and ferns. The property protects a deep hidden canyon with upper waterfalls, classic Hocking Hills rock outcroppings, and a stream pitchpine forest. The canyon stream flows through the hardwood forest to the bottomland’s spring-fed wetlands, then enters a vast prairie, and finally flows out to the riparian forest-lined Hocking River. This creates a diverse and varied landscape for participants to explore. Mathias is in the heart of Hocking Hills and is a central location for our visiting friends. More Information.
Field Trip 6 – Fern Gully in Hocking Hills ~1 Spots Remaining!
Leaders Mark Hoberecht and Brian Lokai
Level 1: Fern Gully was an emergency fund-raiser project and acquisition for the purpose of saving this rich, sheltered valley leading into Clear Creek of Hocking Hills. The property is now permanently protected as part of Clear Creek Metro Park. Fern Gully is a natural landscape that has never been developed with trails, and is consequently only able to be seen through the occasionally scheduled naturalist-guided hike. We will be hiking off trail for the entire route through a fern and hemlock shrouded deep canopied forest that is dotted with old hemlock trees. There is a good variety of tree species, and ferns are in exceptionally high diversity, providing you with an excellent opportunity to learn a plant grouping that most nature lovers have never mastered but are relatively easy to learn. The trek will be cool and shady, with views of beautiful rock formations. More Information.
Field Trip 8 – Junction – an Arc Preserve ~ 3 Spots remaining!
Leader Elijah Crabtree
Level 1: In the Arc’s 26-year history, the most dramatic save for our organization was that of Junction Earthworks in 2014. The Arc, along with a coalition of non-profits sought to raise the funds needed to save it from auction over the span of just 8 days time! In addition, the Arc was awarded funds from Clean Ohio to purchase the surrounding forested hillside and riparian corridor along Paint Creek, a total of 193 acres in all. This field trip will explore both forested trails at Junction Earthworks. The Tippecanoe Darter Trail will first take participants through the ancient earthworks and a 70 acre restored grassland prairie, then into a rich riverine forest with large silver maple, cottonwood, and black walnut trees, and massive sycamores. After lunch, participants will climb the bluffs overlooking the earthworks along the Star Brook trail. Dominant canopy species include Shagbark Hickories, White Oak, Red Oak, and Hackberry, while pawpaws fill in the understory. More Information.
Field Trip 9 – Kamelands at the Highlands Nature Sanctuary ~ Filling Fast!
Leader Ann Geise and Teri Gilligan
Level 1: Kamelands is part of the Highlands Nature Sanctuary and offers a wonderful diversity of trees, shrubs, and other plant species. Participants will be amazed with the breathtaking gorge views and the beautiful rock formations, including a natural arch and a waterfall. We’ll begin our day with a brief overview of taxonomy, terminology, tree and leaf features. These terminologies will be used throughout the trip. This is a course where we’ll concentrate on the most common trees, but will certainly point out all trees of special interest. More Information.
Field Trip 11 – Ridgeview Farm at the Highlands Nature Sanctuary ~ Filling Fast!
Leader Nancy Stranahan
Level 2: Healing agriculturally-related biodiversity losses is hard work and requires hundreds of volunteer hours a year to sustain, but the results at Ridgeview Farm – thanks to the dedicated work of Nancy and her partner, Brent – have been spectacular. Not only are plant and animal species rebounding, but the farm is currently serving as both natural areas and arboretum. If you are an advanced student, there is no better place to test and re-energize your tree recognition skills. You will also get a chance to learn about the tree propagation efforts at Ridgeview Farm, and tips on growing your own trees from seed at home. More information.
Field Trip 13 – Tobacco Barn Hollow – An Arc Preserve ~ 2 Spots Remaining
Leaders John Jaeger and Andrea Jaeger
Level 2: The Arc’s Tobacco Barn Hollow preserve is situated in the Pike State Forest Region of Ohio. The ridge top is dominated by upland woods growing over underlying sandstone bedrock. Trees will be identified through shape, subtle bark color variations, and textures as well as leaf shape. There are several small ravines and intermittent streams that dissect the property, flowing down toward Morgan Fork Creek. Scattered hillside seeps afford places for wildlife to find water. The first trail we will be taking makes a loop through a healthy oak-hickory forest, with a rich understory full of scattered orchids, wildflowers, lichens, mosses, fungi, and ferns. The trail we will be taking after lunch runs parallel to a small stream and winds its way back up the hillside into a small prairie buffer area, where we will learn about successional forest species. If time allows, we will also pay a visit to a remarkable 0.25-acre pond that supports an incredibly high number of newts, green frogs, and turtles, and dragonflies. This preserve is not yet open to the public, but the Arc intends to install a hiking trail system here in the future. This will be an excellent opportunity to visit one of the Arc’s new acquisitions! More Information.
Field Trip 14 – Red Stone Farm – an Arc Conservation Easement ~ Filling Fast!
Leader Jacob Bartley
Level 2: Red Stone Farm lies a few miles north of Fort Hill Earthworks and a few miles southeast of the Highlands Nature Sanctuary. In 2016, the Arc of Appalachia took ownership of a permanent conservation easement on 220 of Red Stone’s acres, comprised of 100 acres of forested swamp wetlands and another 120 acres of upland forest. The majority of the upland forest is made up of a mature mesic forest. Red Stone Farm is abounding in diversity and offers a site exploding with wetland flora and fauna. We will be learning about wetland shrubs and trees, as well as some of the shrubs and trees of the mature mesic forest. More Information
Field Trip 17 – Gladys Riley Golden Star Lily Preserve – an Arc Preserve ~ Filling Fast!
Leader Dave Todt
Level 2: Towering trees are the theme at the Gladys Riley Golden Star Lily Preserve! This preserve protects an unusually old forest for Southern Ohio, with many immense White, Black and Chestnut Oaks; Pignut, Bitternut and Shagbark Hickories, Yellow Buckeye, Black Birch, and Sweetgum trees. Rare Butternut (also known as White Walnut) thrives along the creek bed that bisects the preserve. The field trip will begin in the trailhead parking lot and follow the Yellow Buckeye Trail into the classic oak-hickory hillside forest. More Information.
Field Trip 19 – Ohio River Bluffs – an Arc Preserve ~ Filling Fast
Leader Dave Kuehner
Level 2: While Ohio River Bluffs may be best known for its outstanding spring wildflower displays, the preserve also protects a classic Ohio River corridor forest. White oak, sugar maple, red oak, elm, hackberry, Kentucky coffee tree, and white ash dominate the canopy, while young buckeye trees and chinquapin oaks occupy the understory. This Arc preserve gets its name from its steep, Silurian-aged bluffs that line the Ohio River. The bedrock here was formed by ancient seas 416 to 443 million years ago. The trail starts at the base of the bluffs in the trailhead parking lot on Gilkison Road and gradually climbs to the ridgetop, with panoramas of the Ohio River below and the hills of Kentucky on the far shore. More Information.
Field Trip 20 – Hocking Adena Bikeway in Athens County ~Filling Fast!
Leader Ron Cass
Level 1: We will walk along the edge of a floodplain and mesic forest separated by a paved bike path known as “the hock.” Our journey will extend about 1 – 2 miles depending on participation with a vast array of species to explore. Hiking will be considered easy but can become more adventurous depending on group dynamics. Some of the trees participants can expect to learn on this trip include American Sycamore, American Beech, Silver Maple, Sugar Maple, Box Elder Maple, Black Maple, American Hazelnut, White Elm, Slippery Elm, Eastern Cottonwood, Red Oak, Yellow Buckeye, Ohio Buckeye, and American Basswood, as well as Native and non-native Bush honeysuckle. More information
Field Trip 1 – Welker Private Preserve in Urbana ~ (Registration Closed)
Leaders Bob and Marilyn Welker
Level 1: Bob and Marilyn live on a 2-acre property in Urbana, OH that was once the site of an active quarry. They have been diligently transforming the land by removing invasive species, rebuilding soil fertility, and restoring biodiversity by planting native flora. This field trip will emphasize working with the many elements of soils, sun, shade, moisture, wildlife, and human needs to create beauty, balance, and biodiversity on once disturbed land, with trees being the most defining element of “putting it all together.” This course would be well suited for anyone interested in learning DIY restoration techniques that they can apply in their own backyards. More Information.
Field Trip 2 – Miller-Eigel Private Preserve in Galloway ~ (Registration Closed)
Leaders Kevin Eigel and Marcia Miller
Level 1: Kevin and Marcia are in the process of restoring the native prairie, forests, and wetlands on their land. Although the property already protects many mature native trees – including a 300-year-old Swamp White Oak! – they have worked hard at planting hundreds more – including ones they learned about during the very first Tree Recognition and Forest Literacy Course at the Arc of Appalachia years ago. This will be a great adventure for those who want to see native trees used in landscaping, as well as in their natural habitat. More Information.
Field Trip 4 – Morris Woods State Nature Preserve in Licking
~ (Registration Closed)
Leader: Dick Moseley
Level 1: Dick will be leading a trip through the 107-acre Morris Woods State Nature Preserve. Morris Woods State Nature Preserve was donated in 1979 as a nature sanctuary by James Abbott and named for his father, Morris Abbott. The area became a dedicated state nature preserve in February 1980. Its prime features are the mature Beech-Maple Forest and Swamp Forest communities which cover nearly two-thirds of the preserve. The remaining portion of the preserve features lands in old-field succession, a lake, shrub wetlands, and some evergreen plantations. The variety of habitats offer participants an opportunity to observe a large number of species of wildflowers and trees, including some level 2 tree species. More Information.
Field Trip 7 – Knoop Private Preserve and Camp Oty’Okwa in Hocking ~ (Registration Closed)
Leaders Paul and Cathy Knoop
Level 1: This field trip begins at Hemlock Hollow (Knoop Private Preserve). This is a 70-acre forested track protected by a conservation easement and is almost completely surrounded by the Hocking State Forest. There are several different forest communities on the property including mixed mesophytic, hemlock, black birch, oak, hickory, beech, maple, and tulip poplar.
The second part of our day will be held at Camp Oty’Okwa where we will explore its 200+ acre old-growth forest. This property is owned by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio and has been dedicated by the Old Growth Forest Network. The main forest types are oak and hickory, as well as mixed mesophytic with a sprinkling of Eastern hemlock. It is a healthy forest that has been left undisturbed for the past 80 years. More Information.
Field Trip 10 – Mushroom Cultivation at Ridgeview Farm ~ (Registration closed)
Leader Brent Charette
Ridgeview Farm is part of the Highlands Nature Sanctuary where habitat restoration practices are applied to return high biodiversity to post agricultural lands which are known to normally have low numbers of native plants and animals and impacted soil ecosystems. One of the missing links in many of these ecosystems are the fungal relationships that stitch the woodland environments together. So, in addition to reviving woody plant diversity, encouraging the re-establishment of healthy soil fungi is an on-going study and a key to promoting vibrant forest associations.
Participants will gain a better understanding of the role that fungi play in our forest ecosystems as well as the how to’s for raising King Stropharia, Oyster, and Almond Agaricus mushrooms. In addition, registrants will prepare and innoculate their own oyster mushroom log to take home. Large acreages and years of experience are not a requirement to successfully raise mushrooms and realize the benefits of eating healthy, organic, vitamin-filled food generated by wood fiber, compost, straw, and more. More information.
Field Trip 12 – Blackgum Woods and Sanctuary West at Highlands Nature Sanctuary ~ (Registration Closed!)
Leader Tim Pohlar
Level 1: Blackgum Woods is a beautiful cathedral of tall deciduous mature trees, many of which are hundreds of years old. The private trail we will be taking winds through a mature mixed mesophytic forest where we will be able to learn many trees and understory shrubs. It will also take us along the steep rocky cliffs of the Rocky Fork Gorge. Many species of trees, such as beech, blackgum, oak, maple, hickory, and tulip trees can be found here. After lunch, we will go across the road to the region known as “Sanctuary West” and get a sneak preview of the future God’s Country trail. Most of this area was old pasture land that had been taken over by invasive bushes. Thanks to years of restoration efforts by the Arc, the field is on its way to recovery, providing habitat for grassland plants, animals, and insects. This is an excellent opportunity to visit two sites that are not normally open to the public within the Highlands Nature Sanctuary. More Information.
Field Trip 15 – Staggenborg Private Preserve ~ (Registration Closed)
Leaders Bob and Beth Staggenborg
Level 1: Bob and Beth have a site that is a 2-acre plot in the suburb of Anderson, OH east of downtown Cincinnati. The Staggenborg Private Preserve has at least 20 different species of trees, which is great for all level 1 participants. Bob and Beth are doing as much as they can to convert what was once their lawn into a forest of diverse native species. Participants will have the chance to explore a small 1-acre wooded area that has some mature trees, a typical fragment of eastern woodland forest. The ground of the forest is overrun with an invasive plant, called Winter Creeper and they have been working with a botanist to restore this to its natural habitat. More Information.
Course 16 – Kamama Prairie – an Arc Preserve ~ (Registration Closed)
Leader John Howard
Level 2 Course: Located in Meigs Township, just east of Steam Furnace Road lies a botanical and zoological paradise for native biodiversity. Ka-ma-ma Prairie has an extremely high number of rare vascular plants species, claiming 27 state-listed species in total at this time. Of these, 4 are endangered, 10 are threatened, and 13 are potentially threatened. An additional 67 species were listed previously in Ohio records as imperiled, making 94 species of its 544 total of special interest and rarity. This hike will cross through many habitats, including xeric prairies, dry alkaline woodlands, stream corridors and more. More than 80 species of woody plants have been documented at this preserve, with many unusual and rare species. Expected finds may include Blackjack Oak, Shingle Oak, Chinquapin Oak, Persimmon, Carolina Buckthorn, Lance-leaved Buckthorn, Leatherwood, Post Oak, and several species of dogwoods and viburnums. More Information.
Field Trip 18 – Ohio Hanging Rock – an Arc Preserve ~ (Registration Closed)
Leader Ethan King
Level 1: The hike through Ohio Hanging Rock will be a tough but rewarding adventure through its variety of physical features. The remnants of Lake Tight, a glacial lake in what is present-day Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia, provides us with stunning rock features and forested sections that were once this region’s shoreline. This 738-acre protected wilderness has many ferns, mosses, and lichens, and provides critical habitat for many deep-forest bird species. The longest hiking trail ever developed by our organization is planned for this location, which we think will make it a highly sought-after hiking destination in the future. You won’t want to miss this sneak preview of Ohio Hanging Rock. More Information.