Visit one of AOA’s newest preserves in the Hocking Hills – the 145-acre Stone Canyon Preserve. Located in southern Fairfield County, Stone Canyon contributes to a consolidated block of over 360 acres of largely forested lands recently conserved by AOA. This block also includes the adjacent Hintz Farm and box canyon. Lying at the northern extent of the unglaciated Hocking Hills geography, Stone Canyon is a large box-end canyon with a mature forest cover. Cascading bluffs 150 feet high stretch upwards from the floor at the back of the canyon. The seasonal waterfall at the rear of the canyon should be flowing over the rocks with the recent rains.
We will explore the western end of this newly conserved site and view the ongoing spring wildflower show. We expect to see a range of spring-time bloomers including Trillium, Jack in the Pulpit, Solomon’s Seal, and many others. We will look for the pink Lady’s Slipper orchids which should be blooming. Stone Canyon includes large colonies of Rhododendrons which lie below the sandstone bluffs extending along the top of the gorge.
Afterwards, participants are invited to roam the site and help remove any of the garlic mustard we find that is invading the site and choking out the wildflowers. We will provide bags and gloves for collection.
The Stone Canyon hike and other AOA events are free and open to the public. This event will be held rain or shine – so please come prepared and dress appropriately for the weather and hiking on slopes. This is an outdoor event that will be conducted in conformance with applicable Covid-19 recommendations for social distancing.
Time: Meet at 10:00 a.m.
What to Bring: Lunch, snacks, and/or drinks of your choice. We will take a break to eat at the head of the gorge and enjoy the peace and serenity of the sheer rock bluffs and deep forest environs.
Location: Stone Canyon is located northwest of Sugar Grove off of Tarkiln Road on the west side of Highway 33. Please look for AOA signs at the driveway entrance off of Tarkiln Road. Follow the driveway back past the house. Go through the open gate and past the gas well to the power line right-of-way where we will park. The Google map address for the property is 1601 Tarkiln Road, SE, Lancaster, OH, 43130.