Desonier (Marie J.) Nature Preserve

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Location: 3385 Deep Hollow Rd., Coolville, OH 45723

Contact: Division of Natural Areas and Preserves

Phone: 614-265-6453

Located in the southeastern corner of Athens County, the Desonier Nature Preserve offers 491 acres with a variety of habitats typical of Appalachian Ohio.  The area is diverse in vegetation and ranges from various successional stages to mature forests in the deep ravines and on the steep hillsides. The area is dissected by Jordan Run, a tributary of the Hocking River, and has steep topography, varying from 680 feet to 900 feet in elevation.

Large beech and oak trees are found in the cool moist ravines while the drier uplands are dominated by oak hickory forests, typical of the region. Due to the diversity of available habitats on the preserve, a large variety of ferns, and wildflowers abound.

Some of the more interesting plants growing here are weak aster, green adder’s-mouth orchid, and Virginia meadow-beauty. Mistletoe, a parasitic plant on trees, has also been reported from this preserve.

The most notable landscape feature is a large pond created by beaver, complete with many trees bearing the marks of these industrious animals and a stick-built den. The pond, which stretches for several acres, draws a variety of migratory waterfowl.

Activities:  Hiking on a 2.5 mile trial, birdwatching, plant identification

Get There!

Directions: From Athens – East on US Rt. 50, turn left on TR 117C, go .8 miles, turn left on CR 65, go .2 miles to where CR 65 turns left, proceed  .7 miles to the parking area on the left.

From Coolville – West on US Rt. 50, turn right on CR 56 (Brimstone Rd.), go 1/2 mile to where CR 56 turns left. Parking lot is .7 miles on left. Parking is available in front of the gate.

Mailing address: c/o ODNR, 2045 Morse Rd., Bldg. C-3, Columbus, OH 43229