Spring is in the air and the wildflowers are busting out at AOA’s Bison Hollow Preserve. Enjoy an early spring walk as we wander the gorge and admire the emerging spring ephemeral wildflower show which carpets the floor of the mature hardwood forest.
Spring ephemeral wildflowers are perennial woodland plants that sprout from the ground early each spring, quickly bloom and seed before the overhead canopy trees leaf out. Their above-ground life cycle is short, timed to take advantage of the full sunlight levels reaching the forest floor during early spring. Once the ground is deep in shade, the leaves wither away leaving just the roots, rhizomes and/or bulbs underground.
The flowering ephemerals we may see are typical of the Hocking Hills region and include Trout Lily, Bloodroot, Trillium, Dutchman’s Breeches, Virginia Bluebells, and Cut-Leaved Toothwort. Our ephemeral quest will be led by Angela Carter of the Cincinnati Wildflower Preservation Society and the Cincinnati Nature Center.
AOA’s Bison Hollow Preserve presently consists of 605 acres with protection of another 370 acres in process – forming a largely unfragmented preserve of over 1,000 acres along the South Branch of the East Fork of Queer Creek. The site features spectacular scenery located in the southern extent of the picturesque Hocking Hills, straddling the Hocking – Vinton County line. The preserve showcases typical Hocking Hills landscapes including high rock walls that delineate the main gorge, sandstone outcrops and features, and numerous wonderful waterfalls. The property includes mature to older growth forests with large hemlock groves.
Pack a sack lunch as we will break to eat and enjoy the peace and serenity of the deep forest environs and the many waterfalls that line the gorge. Afterwards, feel free to wander the preserve on your own.
The Bison Hollow Walk and other AOA events are free and open to the public.
Time: Meet at 10:00 a.m.
What to Wear: This activity will be held rain or shine – so please come prepared and dress appropriately for the weather and hiking on slopes. The path through the gorge requires walking alongside and crossing the South Branch of the East Fork of Queer Creek. Water levels in the creek vary widely depending on recent rainfall but can usually be navigated with high-top (at least 6 to 8-inches) hiking shoes or boots. Please wear appropriate footgear and/or be prepared to get wet feet.
What to Bring: Lunch, snacks and/or drinks of your choice
Location: We will be using the north, non-public entrance to the Preserve that crosses private property. This entry is located at the end of Amerine Road just south of Ash Cave – see Google Map link below. Drive to the end of the road where AOA staff and volunteers will direct parking alongside the roadway.