Welcome to the Edge

Okay, you're not there yet. But did you know that just 75 miles east of Cincinnati you can find a 20,000-acre nature preserve of global importance? One of the most biodiverse natural areas in the region, the Richard and Lucile Durrell Edge of Appalachia Preserve System is located in Adams County, Ohio, and one of the largest privately-owned preserves east of the Mississippi. The name comes from the location on the western flank or "edge" of the Appalachian Escarpment. It consists of eleven unique preserves including: Ohio Brush Creek, Cedar Falls, The Wilderness, Buzzardroost Rock, Red Rock, Lynx Prairie, Cave Hollow, Hanging Prairie, Germany Hill Prairie, Abner Hollow and the Rieveschl Preserves. Four of these sites have been recognized as National Natural Landmarks — a testimony to their national significance and ecological importance. Museum Center has been working with our collaborative partner, The Ohio Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, to protect these areas for more than 50 years.

Learn more about the Edge in at our blog!

Public Trail Maps

The following four trails are open to the public. Download a map of all four of our trailhead locations.

Charles A. Eulett Wilderness Preserve Trail
Opened in 2000, this trail is a 2.5-mile loop that goes through an area termed "a howling wilderness" in 1961 by Dr. Edward Thomas, a nature writer for the Columbus Dispatch. The trail also crosses the most diverse of the preserve areas with more than 744 plant species recorded.

Christian and Emma Goetz Buzzardroost Rock Preserve
Originally opened in 1967 and modified in 2014 to add an extra mile and a new trailhead, this 4.4-mile round trip hike traverses the front of the Appalachian Escarpment to a rock promontory 900 feet above the Ohio Brush Creek. Cliffs and outstanding views and a prairie plant community are found at "The Rock." More than 491 species of plants have been recorded from Buzzardroost Rock Preserve.

E. Lucy Braun Lynx Prairie Preserve
Opened in 1959, this was the first public trail at the Edge. The trailhead was moved out of the East Liberty Church in 2014 and expanded in length to its current 1.4-mile length. The trail meanders through 10 prairie openings in an otherwise forested area. Lynx is one of the preserve’s cradles of plant diversity, topping more than 600 recorded species.

Joan Jones Portman Trail
This 1.6 mile hike was opened in 2014 and climbs out of the Ohio Brush Creek Valley to a rock promontory with breathtaking views. The trail weaves in and out of tree cover and open grassland and eventually climbs through stunning forests. Over an estimated 10-year construction time frame, this trail will eventually be expanded to a 15-mile hike through the preserve's Sunshine Corridor to Shawnee State Forest.