The Knox County Park District received a $100,000 grant from the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) in 2016 to purchase what is known as the Zuck Riparian Preserve off Ohio 715. The money was from the MWCD’s Partners in Watershed Management grant program. In addition to the grant from MWCD, the purchase also received $12,500 from the Foundation of Mount Vernon and Knox County and $10,000 from the Richard and Arlene Landers Foundation.
The preserve consists of 14.5 acres in three parcels along the Kokosing River upstream from the Riley Chapel Road water access and the Bat Nest Park property. It is prime riparian corridor habitat and serves as a passive recreation area. The preserve consists of a small gravel parking lot and picnic table with a trail to a river access to canoe and kayak the Kokosing River. The preserve protects about 1,500 feet of river frontage. The property ranges from sycamore and box elder trees along the river, eastern hemlock higher up the slopes and oak-hickory forest at the top of the slopes. The stretch of the river located at Zuck is also considered prime eastern hellbender habitat and is being considered by the Ohio Hellbender Partnership for reintroduction of the big salamander using young raised at the Columbus and Toledo zoos. It is not uncommon to sight Bald Eagles near the Zuck Road property as there are nesting pairs established there.
The Zuck Preserve and River Access is located at 28300 Zuck Road, Howard 43028.