Johnson Woods Ohio Hiking Trail Pictures and Movie
Johnson Woods has a hiking trail throughout the largest stand of wooded trees in the state of Ohio. There are exceptionally large trees; oaks, hickories, maples and beech; good spring wildflowers.
Located in Wayne County approximately 4 miles north of Orrville on SR 57, then one mile east on Fox Lake Road. Parking and a boardwalk trail system are available. Boardwalk is a 1 1/2 mile loop trail beginning on the south side of Fox Lake Road.
When the first European settlers came to Ohio, around 90% of the land area was forested. There are few remnants of this primeval forest left in our state. Johnson Woods is probably the largest, least disturbed, old-growth forest currently known to remain in Ohio.
Johnson Woods is one of Ohio's largest and best remaining old-growth forests. Many trees rise 40-50 feet before the first limbs occur and several are more than 400 years old.
Some of the oldest trees are 120 feet tall with a diameter of 4 to 5 feet.
The 155-acre tract on the south side of Fox Lake Road was a gift to the Division of Natural Areas and Preserves from Mrs. Clela Johnson and her family in memory of her late husband, Andrew C. Johnson. In addition to the gift, Mrs. Johnson sold 51 acres of adjacent old-growth woods on the north side of the road to the Division. This tract was purchased with State Income Tax Checkoff donations. The combined 206-acre woodlot is administered by the Division of Natural Areas & Preserves as a dedicated state nature preserve, representing one of the finest remaining examples of Ohio’s natural heritage. Visitation and use of this preserve is primarily for research, education, and low impact activities such as nature study and appreciation, bird watching, hiking, and photography. Thus, Johnson Woods will be protected for generations to come.
After Jacob Conrad, Andrew Johnson’s great grandfather, left France in 1823, he bought land in section 7 of Baughman Township and settled in Ohio. This property included what is now known as Johnson Woods. At that time, many of the trees were already 200 years old. Having sprouted before the Pilgrims came to America on the Mayflower, these trees flourished through a time when clearing the landscape was one of the most important objectives of the settler. Establishing tillable acreage and making lumber for shelter and transportation were reason enough for the axman to make his way across Ohio. The woods probably survived the onslaught of the pioneer because of the existing wet conditions. Later, it survived the sawmills of the Depression era of America due to Anna (Graber) Johnson, the mother of Andrew Johnson. During the last few decades the woods became a stable feature of the local landscape. Stories abound concerning hunters, wildflower bouquets, the Johnson boys’ treehouse, poison ivy and even people getting lost. Neighbors referred to the property as the “Big Woods”.
This woodland historically was known as Graber Woods and was studied by the renowned ecologist, Dr. E. Lucy Braun, who recognized its significance. The largest trees, then and now, are white oaks, red oaks, and hickories. Many of the larger oaks and hickories are now dying out as they have reached the end of their biological lifespans. As these older trees die, they are being replaced by more shade-tolerant trees such as sugar maple and American beech. As a consequence of this natural succession from an oak-hickory community to a beech-maple community, the maples and beeches are becoming more prominent members of the forest community at Johnson Woods. In the more poorly drained sections of the woods are found the swamp forest communities dominated by red maples and pin oaks. Several buttonbush swamps may also be found in depressional areas which are frequently associated with the swamp forest community.
In addition to its importance as one of the few old growth forest stands remaining in Ohio, Johnson Woods is also significant for its size. At 206 acres, Johnson Woods is large enough to act as a self-supporting ecosystem. Its large size makes it less vulnerable to storm damage and threats from disease. Birds such as the pileated woodpecker, scarlet tanager, Acadian flycatcher, wood thrush, ovenbird, and hooded warbler are found nesting at Johnson Woods along with many other species that are dependent upon larger tracts of forests. In an area of Ohio where large woodlots of any age class are rare, Johnson Woods’ size, age and history combined make it one of the most significant forest communities in Ohio.
An impressive display of wildflowers flourishes in the spring, including trout lilies, large-flowered trillium, several species of violets, and windflower. Summer brings the cathedral-like canopy of leaves, which becomes more colorful as autumn has its affect on the woods. Winter emphasizes the massive trunks and the height of the huge trees. We hope you enjoy your visit to Johnson Woods State Nature Preserve.
All Other Johnson Woods Hiking Pictures Are In Order Below
The hikingohioparks.com LINKS
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(ASHLAND COUNTY PARKS)
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(CUYAHOGA COUNTY PARKS)
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North Chagrin Reservation
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Johnson Woods Park
Wooster Memorial Park
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