Deep Hollow Road Preserve LbNA # 38715
|Placed Date||Apr 8 2008|
Desonier Nature Preserve
Difficulty: Moderate climbing obvious path
Terrain: moderate hills; total elevation, 200 feet up to ridge
Distance: About 1/3 mile one way
Bring a stamp pad and pen and a rag to wipe off LBs
Box Stamps: Hand made in camo jars
Marie J. Desonier State Nature Preserve is located in eastern Athens County, Ohio. It is heavily forested, on Jordan Run near its headwaters, in Deep Hollow. The preserve features a loop trail, (the Oak Ridge Trail,) with about 7 footbridges. This trail can be hiked in a two-mile trip, or as a 2.5-mile loop.
There are no other developed facilities here except for a small parking area, that is permanently blocked off. You may have to park OUTSIDE the gate, but just off the roadway. (Apparantly, the county restricted access to the parking lot because of continued problems within the parking lot in the past. You may expect a sheriff's cruiser to appear shortly after you arrive, as the neighbors keep watch.)
From the information board:
The preserve represents a good example of the local forest, with relatively few invasive species. Large beech and oak trees are found in the cool moist ravines while the drier uplands are dominated by oak hickory forests, typical of the region. Due to the diversity of available habitats on the preserve, a large variety of ferns, and wildflowers abound.
Directions to Desonier Nature Preserve: Travel east from Athens, Ohio on Route 50 until 3 miles before 50 intersects Ohio Route 7. Take Athens County Road 56 North off of Route 50 toward Carthage Gap campground .4 miles and take the second left onto County Road 65 (Deep Hollow) and go .6 mile to the preserve on the left. This last leg will descend into the "hollow" alongside streams that swell dramatically after steady rains. Be aware the trail begins in the floodplane of the Jordon Run. Please walk to the information board and read the sign to familiarize yourself with the trails, and the size of the loop.
The trail starts to the east, behind the info board. Box 1 is quite a ways straight up this hollow, crossing four bridges, before turning steeply right at the beaver dam. It is a large impressive structure. As a result, some hikers have begun to walk around the creekbed to the 4th bridge instead of along the valley path. Either is OK. Box 3 is quite a bit closer on the trail that returns behind you.
Box 1 THE BEECH SENTRY
Take the trail head directly behind the information board and continue along the creek trail until you pass the 4th wooden bridge and turn right, steeply up the hill. From the departure end of this bridge count approximately 50 paces (100 steps) uphill and start looking right for a huge old beech positioned about 20 yards off the trail to the right, directly in front of a rock wall. During high folliage times, this may be difficult to see. If you spot the large dead Oak tree to the left of the trail, stand facing forward up the trail abreast of this dead tree, and the Beech Sentry will be about 2 o'clock on your right. THE BEECH camo letterbox is at the base of this tree behind the securing sandstone rock, under some limbs and bark.
Box 3 WATER LILY PAD
Box 3 is most easily reached by exiting the parking lot to the downstream end, on the return trail, about 30 yards to the first creek foot bridge with hand rails. Don't cross the bridge, but turn around. Go to the third tree past the bridge on the right (the one that leans over the creek) and stop, facing straight back down the trail abreast of that leaning tree. Now look 90 degrees to your left and you will see a tree growing out of a rock slightly up the bank. The WATER LILY PAD camo box is where that tree meets the rock, behind a rock and brick. This box tends to wash out, or fall down the hill, so PLEASE carefully return this box and make sure it is wedged securely back where you found it, with the brick and rock also securely holding in place.
Now follow the trail again back to your car. You'll be interested to know that there are five other active boxes on this loop trail, carved by another skilled boxer. Search under Desonier Nature Preserve series 1 & 2 to find them. (Box 1 is quite near THE BEECH but to the left...)