A nature preserve is a living museum. Wahkeena Nature Preserve is a fine example of such living history. It is a 150-arce natural area managed by Fairfield County Park District for 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. It offers exceptional opportunities for birding and observation of wildlife.

Twelve of Ohio's native orchids such as Showy Orchis and Pink Lady's Slipper and approximately 30 kinds of ferns have been identified. Wahkeena is also home to rhododendron and flame azalea, state-threatened and state-endangered species respectively. There are more than 100 species of birds and 35 species of mammals including the pileated woodpecker, numerous warblers and beaver. Wetland areas host more than 30 species of amphibians and reptiles 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 of wildlife, plant life, and the area's geology and history. The nature center includes a gift shop; in it are books on a wide range of natural history topics. Visitors can obtain a seasonal, self-guided trail map of key features along two of the trails: the half-mile Shelter Trail and the one-mile Casa Burro Trail.

There are two permanently-injured raptors - a Barred Owl and a Red-shouldered Hawk - living onsite. Their injuries do not allow them to hunt for themselves. Wahkeena has obtained permits so they may be sheltered and used for educational programs.

Wahkeena is open from mid-March through mid-November, Wednesday through Sunday, 8:00am-4:30pm. Admission is free. Guided nature walks and other programs are offered throughout the season. All group visits are by reservation only.
Wahkeena Nature Preserve
2200 Pump Station Rd
Sugar Grove, OH 43155
Park Hours
Wednesday through Sunday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (closed Monday-Tuesday)