Ohio DNR  LbNA # 66211 (ARCHIVED)

Placed DateNov 13 2013
LocationHach-Otis State Nature Preserve, Willoughby Hills, OH
Found By
Last Found
Hike Distance?

I planted this to increase awareness of this little-known gem that has been a bird sanctuary since 1944 and was dedicated as an interpretive nature preserve in 1977.
Address: 37142 Skyline Drive 44094
HOURS: 8 am to 4 pm

From I-90, take SOM Center Rd. (Rte. 91) south to Chardon Rd. (Rte. 6); turn left. At the first stop light, turn left on Chagrin River Rd. (SR 174). Skyline Dr. is the first road on the right, after you pass a vacant lot that used to be an elementary school. For some reason, there is no street sign at the moment, but drive to the end of this small road with no outlet, and you will be in the parking lot for the preserve.

Begin walking on the wooden boardwalk, straight past the turnoffs. Continue on the trail after the boardwalk ends. You will see a trail to a pile of wood on your left, but do not turn here; keep walking ahead on the trail that will lead down into a ravine. Walk up the wooden stairway to the top, then turn right to continue following the trail. You will walk through cuts of 3 downed trees, then the trail will veer to the left as it follows alongside a deep ravine on your right.

Eventually you will come to a medium beech tree just to the right beside the trail. One of the carvings on it says J.S. with '91 below it. Soon after passing it see a short hemlock tree hugging a large tree, on your left. The Ohio DNR Letterbox is hidden in a small hole behind the hemlock's "arms," covered by large pieces of bark.

You could retrace your steps back to your car. But for some of the greatest views of the Chagrin River, continue on the trail which, after going through cuts in many fallen trees, follows along a high bluff before circling back via another boardwalk.