Wahkeena Nature Preserve is a 150-arce natural area managed by the Fairfield County Historical Parks for the Ohio History Connection. This popular outdoor classroom and quiet retreat for nature lovers is located on the southeastern boundary of glaciation in Ohio. The preserve hosts an abundance of plants and animals typical of the unglaciated Allegheny Plateau.

Ten of Ohio’s native orchids such as showy orchis and pink lady’s slipper and approximately 30 different kinds of ferns have been identified at the preserve. Wahkeena is also home to rhododendron and flame azalea, state threatened and state-endangered species respectively. Wahkeena is also home to more than 100 species of birds and 25 species of mammals, including the pileated woodpecker, numerous warblers and beaver. Wetland areas host a variety of amphibian and reptile species and provide excellent viewing for dragonflies and damselflies. Throughout the year, numerous wildflowers attract a rich assortment of butterflies and moths.

Visitors enjoy the first-class nature center with displays on wildlife, geology, plant life and the area’s history. The nature center includes a gift shop with books on a wide range of natural history topics. Visitors can also obtain a seasonal, self-guided trail map that points out key features along two of the trails: the ½-mile Shelter Trail and the 1-mile Casa Burro Trail.

Wahkeena is open from late March to early November, Wednesday- through Sunday, 8:00am-4:30pm. Admission is free. All groups are by reservation only. No pets or picnicking are permitted in the preserve. Guided nature walks and other programs are offered throughout the season. Go to: www.wahkeena-preserve.blogspot.com for the latest news and information about programs and happenings.

Location

Wahkeena Nature Preserve is located at 2200 Pump Station Road in Sugar Grove, Ohio.

From the corner of Main and Broad Streets in Lancaster, Ohio, head west on Main Street for approximately 2 blocks, then turn left onto Memorial Drive. Continue on Memorial Drive for 1½ miles until it turns into Logan-Lancaster Road. Remain on Logan-Lancaster Road for about 3 miles, then turn right onto Tarkiln Road. Take the first left onto Old Logan Road and continue on this road for about 2½ miles. Turn right onto Pump Station Road, continuing on for about one-half mile. Wahkeena Nature Preserve will be on the right.

Site Features

  • 150-acre nature preserve that offers exceptional opportunities for birding as well as observing other wildlife
  • Home to 12 native species of Ohio orchids
  • 1½ mile trail system
  • Regular educational programming throughout the open season

Wahkeena Nature Preserve is open from late March to early November, Wednesday through Sunday, 8:00am-4:30pm.