Hidden Gem in Southeastern Ohio: Boch Hollow Nature Preserve

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By Abby Hockman of Wanderlost Travels

Nature preserves are never something I used to consider seeking out while traveling. However, all of that has changed after a recent visit to Boch Hollow in Logan, Ohio, only 20 miles south of my hometown. Boch Hollow’s 572 acres is divided into two parts – a part that requires a permit, and a part that does not.

Getting to Boch Hollow is half of the fun of the experience! The permit-required section of the preserve is extremely well-hidden and to get there you must cross a highway and climb over a guardrail to find the signs for the trail.

Road

Once you make it into this part of the Hollow, light pours in through the surrounding trees to reveal sights straight out of a fairy tale. Follow the path back to a series of waterfalls and a world of bright green moss and vibrant wild flowers are exposed.

Waterfall1

 

This part of Boch Hollow was only opened up in recent months and most of the locals don’t even know it exists! Since the number of permits is controlled, you may get the chance to explore the Hollow all by yourself. During my trip, we only encountered one other person in the Hollow during the first ten minutes.

Corkscrew

Pictures of the above Corkscrew Falls cannot do it justice. The space feels sacred and the rushing water cleared my mind from the noise of the everyday until I could do nothing but simply stand in appreciation of the beauty enfolding me. From Corkscrew Falls, it was a short jaunt back to the main road.

The access point to the general admittance portion of Boch Hollow is well-marked a few miles down the road from the falls. The other half of the preserve offers a completely different, but equally worthwhile vibe. Rather than the exciting waterfalls and virtually non-existent paths of the permit section, there is a generous path that leads to a serene lake bedecked with lily pads and cattails swaying in tandem with a calm breeze.

Path2

The lake is the perfect spot for picnicking, reflecting, or teaching children about nature. There were countless beautiful fireflies the day that we went. If only they would have stayed in one place long enough for a picture!

Lake

Boch Hollow is a special place because of the ecosystem. It is home to the largest population of Federally Endangered Running Buffalo Clover in Ohio. The Hollow is often utilized as a way to educate the public, specifically children, about Appalachian Ohio ecology. The cicadas and their song were out in full force this year after waking from their 17-year slumber.

Cicada

My favorite part of the lake was the multitude of mini lily pads.

Lilypads

Boch Hollow is on the outskirts of the well-known Hocking Hills region and is often left out when both locals and the international crowd travel to see Old Man’s Cave. Don’t forget to put this gem on your list of places to visit when you find yourself in Southern Ohio!

To obtain a permit for part of the preserve, you must apply through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Don’t worry if you don’t see Boch Hollow on the list – the permit required section is so new that it is not up on the website yet, but the process is still the same. To learn more about Boch Hollow, visit http://naturepreserves.ohiodnr.gov/bochhollow.

Visit Abby’s blog Wanderlost Travels and connect with her on Twitter @WLTravels or Facebook