Bison Hollow Preserve

827 Acres along the Hocking/Vinton County Line
Pending Dedication as a State Nature Preserve
Conserves Outstanding State Waters of the East Fork of Queer Creek Watershed

The AOA Bison Hollow Preserve is an outstanding group of properties located on both sides of the Hocking and Vinton County line just south of Ash Cave and Hocking Hills State Park. The Preserve currently consists of a total of 15 conserved properties and 827 acres acquired by AOA during the period from 2009 to 2022. The acquisition of additional properties adjacent to the Preserve is planned and currently underway.


The Preserve is the reported location of the last native Ohio bison.


Conservation of East Fork of Queer Creek Coldwater Habitat and Watershed. The Preserve protects the East Fork of Queer Creek, a Coldwater Habitat stream designated as Outstanding State Waters, the highest classification in Ohio. Conservation work to date has resulted in the protection of 7,200 lineal feet of East Fork of Queer Creek stream corridor and 12,200 lineal feet of tributary streams.


The central feature of the Preserve is a narrow, scenic steep-walled Black Hand Sandstone gorge with numerous picturesque rock outcrops, cliffs, rock overhangs and ledges, caves and several outstanding waterfalls. The Preserve has both older growth hemlock- hardwood forest and oak hickory forest plant communities that were purchased by AOA prior to logging.


State Threatened Plant Species and Rare Ohio Orchids. The Preserve is home to a diverse plant community including the state threatened rock skullcap and pink dot lichen, and the potentially threatened long beech fern, tall larkspur and green adder’s mouth. Field surveys by AOA staff have also reported the native Ohio orchids: putty root, Autumn coralroot, pink lady slipper, showy orchis,  rattlesnake plantain, large twayblade, fen orchid, ragged fringed orchid, lady’s tresses, and cranefly orchid.


The Preserve has an outstanding collection of spring wildflowers in its forested ravines. AOA holds a wildflower walk on the site each spring to observe such wildflowers as blue cohosh, Jacob’s ladder, sessile trillium, bloodroot, Virginia bluebells, dutchman’s breeches, twinleaf, Virginia waterleaf, round lobed hepatica, yellow trout lily and numerous Ohio orchid species.


Part of the Preserve is currently moving through the process of becoming a dedicated Ohio State Nature Preserve and approval is anticipated in 2022.


The Russell family generously donated two family cabins on their 23-acre property which is now part of the Preserve. The Bison Hollow Cabin is currently for rent through AOA and the Russel Cabin is being updated for future rental.


Stewardship work in the Preserve has included invasives removal, tree planting, monitoring for hemlock wooly adelgid disease and installation of gates. Long term management of the preserve will include continued invasives removal and creation of a new closed canopy mature forests in the riparian areas of the East Fork of Queer Creek watershed.

Bison Hollow Preserve Blue Cohosh