Welcome to Hellbender Preserve
This 15.43 acre site contains the Buckeye Grove Loop Trail. The site was named after the state endangered and Ohio’s largest amphibian, the “Eastern Hellbender.” Eastern Hellbenders live in the clean, high-quality waters of Jelloway Creek and the nearby Kokosing State Scenic River. The site, which consists of Jelloway Creek, wildflower and floodplain tree species, is accessed from the Kokosing Gap Trail.
The nature trail begins at the bike trail bridge north of the bike trail parking lot (23316 Coshocton Rd. Howard 43028) and offers streamside access to beaches along Jelloway Creek. Buckeye trees are numerous throughout the site. A sign and steps leading from the bike trail to the Buckeye Grove Loop Trail beckon the user to explore.
In May, spring wildflowers abound on the site, including Virginia bluebells, toad trillium, buttercups and wild-blue phlox. In 2021, a group of volunteers spent countless hours to compile a plant survey for all of Knox County Parks. This survey highlights the baseline data for the presence of forbs (herbaceous flowering plants) that are not graminoids, within selected county parks. The project further determined flowering time for each identified species. During the 2021 growing season, surveyors identified a total of 320 distinct species forbs. Click on the plant data link above to view the results. To view the narrative of the project, click on the link below.
Excellent birding opportunities abound on the trail as well, with Baltimore Orioles, Belted Kingfishers and Northern Cardinals filling the air with song.