Hintz Hollow Preserve
196 Acre Farm in Fairfield County with Unique Geological and Natural Features
Hintz Hollow was identified by the Ohio Division of Natural Areas and Preserve staff as a conservation priority over 12 years ago. Thanks to the long-term efforts of AOA, ODNR, the Hintz family and Clean Ohio Program funding, this property was finally acquired by AOA in 2019. The 196-acre core of the farm was acquired by AOA and two adjacent 15-acre parcels were protected through conservation easements. This created a 226 acre block of protected habitat. The Hintz property is immediately adjacent to the 146.6 acre Stone Canyon Preserve owned by AOA which creates a 372.6 acre block of contiguous habitat in Fairfield County, Ohio.
Hintz Hollow Stone Arch. Hintz Hollow has a variety of unique and important geologic and natural features that contribute to the State’s natural heritage. The site features a forested box canyon ringed with spectacular, high Black Hand sandstone bluffs characteristic of the Hocking Hills and includes a natural stone arch. Hintz Hollow arch is in a valley of an unnamed tributary. Atmospheric weathering has broken through the end of a narrow, sandstone slump block that is 28 feet long to form an arched opening.
Federally Endangered Bat Species. Recent bat monitoring conducted on the property shows a healthy population of bats (10 species identified) and recorded calls from two Federally endangered species including the northern long eared and Indiana bat.
Outstanding Population of Great Rhododendron. Hintz Hollow is home to a very large population of Great Rhododendron, a State listed, pre-glacial remnant species found along the sandstone outcrops in thick masses. The eastern portion of the Preserve lies within the floodplain of the Hocking River and contains two ponds on a tributary stream.
Rock Spike Moss. In addition to the large stands of the State threatened Great Rhododendron, a recent plant survey identified Rock Spike Moss (Selaginella rupestris) located on a rock formation close to the Stone Canyon/Hintz Hollow boundary. This moss was presumed to be extirpated from Ohio until its recent discovery by State of Ohio botanists. The Preserve is also known to have several other State of Ohio listed species of plants that are threatened or endangered.
Hintz Hollow has an extensive forested area that consists of numerous tulip poplars, chestnut oaks, red oaks and hickories. This mature forest has many trees in the 18-24- inch diameter size range and some that are much larger.
Stewardship of the property has included planting approximately 50 acres of agricultural land with native prairie grasses and wildflowers and 90 hybrid chestnut tree seedlings.