Edge of Appalachia

Consisting of ten nature preserves along the Appalachian Escarpment, the area boasts over 100 rare species of animals and plants, consisting of 30 ecological communities. Four of the ten preserves, Lynx Prairie, Buzzardroost Rock, Red Rock, and The Wilderness, are National Natural Landmarks. Three of these are open to the public: Edge of Appalachia, The Wilderness, and Lynx Prairie.

Buzzardroost Rock, the most popular reserve, features a 3-mile in-and-out trail that leads to a spectacular overlook of the Ohio Brush Creek valley. Crossing four rock strata, the path winds through eastern hardwoods and by a massive Peebles Dolomite block that rolled down the hill to its location today. The trail soon winds its way to the top of the ridge via a series of steps and switchbacks to Buzzardroost Rock, which soars over 300 feet above the valley floor.

The Wilderness features a moderately difficult trail for Ohio. Winding from the top of rock outcroppings to the depths of ravines, the 2½-mile loop traverses amongst stands of white cedar, chestnut oak, sugar maple, Chinquapin oak, black gum, and tulip. The first ¼-mile follows Saw Mill Branch, aptly named after a sawmill that operated on the site in the 1970s. The trail later follows an old wagon roadway and then dives into a narrow valley, home to wild ginger, wild geraniums, and green violets that blanket the forest floor.

Lynx Prairie consists of 1½ miles of trails through dry limestone prairie openings and deciduous forests. Tall prairie grasses and equally tall flowers and orchards dominate the trail, especially in the latter half of summer and fall. The land is managed through controlled burns, mowing, and cutting.

Lynx Prairie was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1967. The area in and around the preserve was recognized for its importance by its namesake, E. Lucy Braun, a professor of botany from the University of Cincinnati, in the late 1920s. Braun had studied the ecology of the area extensively which led to The Nature Conservancy purchasing 42 acres in 1959, its first protection effort in the state. In 2017, The Nature Conservancy expanded with the adjoining Cedar Glade Prairie.


Buzzardroost Rock Trail

The Buzzardroost Rock Trail is a 4¼-mile in-and-out loop trail with moderate difficulty that descends through maturing hardwood forests and cedar barrens before ending at an overlook of the Ohio Brush Creek valley at Buzzardroost Rock.

Lynx Prairie Trail

The Lynx Prairie Trail is a gentle 1.3-mile loop trail that meanders between wooded sections to reach open prairies.

Wilderness Trail

The Wilderness Trail is a gentle 2½-mile loop trail that meanders through maturing hardwood forests and through the Cliff Run gorge.

  • To access Buzzardroost Rock from West Union: Follow OH Route 125 east for 7½ miles.
  • To access the Lynx Prairie from West Union: Follow OH Route 125 east for 8 miles. Turn right onto Tulip Road and follow south for .8 miles. Turn left onto Cline Road.
  • To access the Wilderness from West Union: Follow OH Route 125 east for 7½ miles. Turn left onto Lynx Road, and then take a left onto Shivener Road.


Peebles Weather

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