The Edge of Appalachia Preserve, located in Adams County, Ohio, is home to one of the more biologically diverse collections of natural systems in the state.
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 to 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 native grasslands and patches of diverse woodlands. Tall prairie grasses and equally tall flowers and orchards dominate the trail, especially in the latter half of summer and fall.