Cackley Swamp Preserve

490 Acres in Jackson County
A Very Rare Relict Wetland of the Teays River System

Cackley Swamp Preserve is located adjacent to Cooper Hollow Wildlife Area in southern Jackson County near the Village of Oak Hill, Ohio. The Preserve consists of 490 acres of Cackley Swamp that was acquired by AOA during the period from 2007 through 2019. The Preserve is a very rare, high-quality (Class 3) relict wetland of the pre-glacial Teays River system. Cackley Swamp was previously identified by the ODNR Division of Natural Areas and Preserves as a Priority Acquisition Area of State Significance and is believed to be the largest of the seven known Teays River wetland remnants.


This 490-acre Preserve was acquired as part of 7 different property transfers using a combination of US F&WS mitigation funds and Ohio Public Works Commission, Clean Ohio Program grants. AOA collaborated with Ohio Valley Conservation Coalition (OVCC) to acquire two out of the seven properties.


The Preserve includes primary, secondary, and tertiary streams which are part of the Symmes Creek watershed surrounded by emergent and deep-water wetland. Much of this area is too shallow for canoeing but too deep for hiking.


The botanical diversity of the Teays Valley wetland remnants has been recognized for many years. These wetland remnants contain hundreds of vascular plant species and at least 12 plant species listed as threatened or endangered in the State of Ohio. A botanical survey of Cackley Swamp in 2007 by Rick Gardner of ODNR revealed 69 species of vascular plants. The plants in these wetland remnants has made Jackson County one of the most botanically diverse counties of the State of Ohio. 


The Preserve serves as an important resting area for migrating waterfowl. The Preserve is also home to resident species of waterfowl as well as beavers, muskrats and otters. An important beaver dam in the wetland controls the local water level elevation.


AOA has performed stewardship work on the Preserve which included removal of fill material from the wetland area in 2021. The goal of this fill removal is the restoration of original plant communities in part of the wetland.