Bison Hollow SNP Dedication, group of four smiling in the snow with paperwork

Bison Hollow Preserve Receives State of Ohio Nature Preserve Designation  

On a beautiful snowy winter day representatives of AOA hiked into the deep woods of Bison Hollow for a special event. ODNR Division of Natural Areas and Preserves held a signing ceremony with Director Mertz for the recently announced designation of core portions of AOA’s Bison Hollow Preserve as Ohio’s newest State Nature Preserve (SNP). Bison Hollow joins Kleinmaier SNP as AOA’s currently designated State Preserves.

Located south of Ash Cave, Bison Hollow is centered on protection of the East Fork of Queer Creek, a Coldwater Habitat system designated Outstanding State Waters, the highest classification in Ohio. The Preserve features a spectacular narrow, steep-walled Black Hand Sandstone gorge with numerous picturesque rock outcrops and waterfalls. It is an important component of AOA’s Greater Hocking Hills Conservation Initiative.

We are excited to be collaborating on habitat conservation with ODNR’s Division of Natural Areas and Preserves at Bison Hollow. AOA could not have created and conserved this special place without the support and assistance of ODNR. We would also like to recognize the Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance at the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the Clean Ohio Program at the Ohio Public Works Commission for their generous funding assistance which has supported AOA’s conservation and stewardship efforts at Bison Hollow.

Bison Hollow is one of the jewels of the distinctive Hocking Hills landscapes. It is covered in deep older growth hardwood forests with large stands of hemlock that provide homes for many native species that are becoming increasingly threatened or rare. The high Blackhand sandstone bluffs, gorges, rock shelters and caves, numerous waterfalls and relatively rare high-quality Coldwater habitat streams, are very worthy of conservation and protection from degradation.

Our conservation actions at Bison Hollow have extended for 15 years, from our acquisition of the 76-acre Harwood property in 2009. Today, Bison Hollow Preserve is comprised of 20 tracts and over 1,000 acres of largely unfragmented habitat, all acquired from voluntary sellers who supported AOA’s vision for conservation of this spectacular natural landscape.

Bison Hollow Preserve extends the conserved Hocking Hills geography into Vinton County and provides a physical habitat corridor that connects the Hocking Hills State Park lands to the Wayne National Forest.

Bison Hollow State Nature Preserve is open for visitation with a permit from AOA. No motorized vehicles are allowed on this or any other AOA Preserve site. Contact AOA at for additional information regarding Bison Hollow or AOA.

For additional information on the Bison Hollow State Nature Preserve dedication, read the press release from ODNR and the Statement from AOA.

Appalachia Ohio Alliance group at Bison Hollow