Walk through mature hardwood and hemlock forests and explore the wildflower covered slopes, immersing ourselves in the magnificence of the beautiful old growth forest habitat. Orchid expert Ken Mettler will lead this tour of the Mercer Woods Preserve that will focus on identifying native wildflowers and orchids of the Hocking Hills region.
Mercer Woods is located in the scenic Hocking River valley in the northern extent of the Hocking Hills. It is a part of AOA’s Hocking River Conservation Corridor initiative. The 112-acre parcel includes characteristic Hocking Hills landscape features including sandstone outcrops, a small gorge and headwater streams and waterfalls in the several ravines. There are a wide variety of habitats and numerous wildflowers – some still in bloom. Mercer Woods is home to the largest trees and the most impressive old growth forest found on any of AOA’s many preserves. The highlight is a nearly 5-foot diameter oak.
Afterwards, feel free to wander the preserve on your own. Participants are invited to stay and roam the site with AOA volunteers to help remove the garlic mustard we find that is invading portions of the site and choking out the wildflowers. We will provide bags and gloves.
The Mercer Woods Walk and other AOA events are free and open to the public. This activity will be held rain or shine – so please come prepared and dress appropriately for the weather and hiking on slopes.
Time: Meet at 10:00 a.m. The Walk will last approximately two hours but stay as long as you like.
What to Bring: Lunch, snacks and/or drinks of your choice. Feel free to bring a lunch and enjoy the peace and serenity of the deep forest environs. Bug spray recommended to repel ticks.
Location: Mercer Woods is located at 9016 Buckeye Troxel Road, just southeast of Sugar Grove. Look for AOA signs and volunteers who will be directing parking.