Bison Hollow Preserve

Tucked away in the picturesque Hocking Hills region of Ohio, Bison Hollow Preserve is a hidden gem that spans Hocking and Vinton counties. Covering over 1,000 acres along the Queer Creek watershed, this nature lover’s paradise protects the East Fork of Queer Creek, a Coldwater Habitat stream designated as Outstanding State Waters – the highest classification in Ohio. It is believed that Bison Hollow was one of the last habitats of the now-extinct Eastern Woodland Bison, also known as the Eastern Wood Bison.

At the heart of Bison Hollow lies a narrow, steep-walled Blackhand Sandstone gorge that will take your breath away. Picturesque rock outcrops, cliffs, overhangs, ledges, caves, and waterfalls create a stunning backdrop for your adventure. The area also features older-growth hemlock and typical hardwood and oak-hickory forest communities, enhancing the preserve’s natural beauty.

Bison Hollow is more than just a scenic wonder; it is home to a diverse array of plant life, including the state-threatened rock skullcap, pink dot lichen, and potentially threatened species such as the long beech fern, tall larkspur, and green adder’s mouth. Keep an eye out for native Ohio orchids like the putty root, autumn coralroot, pink lady slipper, showy orchis, rattlesnake plantain, large twayblade, fen orchid, ragged fringed orchid, lady’s tresses, and cranefly orchid. In the forested ravines, you’ll be greeted by a spectacular display of spring wildflowers, including blue cohosh, Jacob’s ladder, sessile trillium, bloodroot, Virginia bluebells, Dutchman’s breeches, twinleaf, Virginia waterleaf, round-lobed hepatica, and yellow trout lily.

Originally managed by the Appalachia Ohio Alliance, Bison Hollow was dedicated as the 146th Ohio State Nature Preserve in January 2024, ensuring that this natural wonder will be preserved for generations to come. Bison Hollow State Nature Preserve is open for visitation with a permit from the Appalachia Ohio Alliance. For additional information, contact the Appalachia Ohio Alliance at


Bison Hollow Falls

Bison Hollow Falls is a slender horsetail waterfall on East Fork of Queer Creek, standing about 20 feet tall and spanning a width of just five feet.

Bison Hollow is a ⅗-mile in-and-out trail that starts at the trailhead along Schoolie Road and leads to the base of Bison Hollow Falls. From the unmarked trailhead, follow the old dirt roadway northward until it descends toward the East Fork Queer Creek valley. At this point, you will encounter a gate that prohibits ATV/ORV access, but hikers are welcome to proceed. The trail then turns southward and closely follows the creek.

Official Website

From Ash Cave at Hocking Hills State Park, follow OH Route 56 east for 2 miles. Turn right onto Locust Grove Road and continue onto Potter Ridge Road and Locust Grove Road. Drive south and west for 3.6 miles. Turn right onto Schoolie Road and continue north for one mile. There is an informal parking area before a rough stream crossing of East Fork Queer Creek. Four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive vehicles are recommended beyond this point to reach another informal parking area near a gate. The road narrows past this point and descends to a gate at the base of the hill.

Bison Hollow State Nature Preserve is open for visitation with a permit from the Appalachia Ohio Alliance. For additional information, contact the Appalachia Ohio Alliance at


Bison Hollow Weather

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