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Burton Wetlands State Nature Preserves

Preserving 277 acres in Geauga County

Burton Wetlands Nature Preserve is a system of forest, glacial relict ponds and wetlands located in Geauga County. The preserve is made up of several sub-units including 22-acre Lake Kelso and the Charles Dambach Preserve. A designated National Natural Landmark, Burton Wetlands is widely considered to be one of the most ecologically significant areas in Geauga County.

This 287-acre parcel is part of a larger 700-acre complex of kettle holes, lower slope seeps and wet flats referred to by The Nature Conservancy as the Cuyahoga Wetlands.

Burton Wetlands Nature Preserve supports several rare and endangered plants including green woodland orchid, bunchberry and tamarack trees. Visitors should be wary of the lush growth of poison sumac along Lake Kelso.

Some of the rare animal species found here include northern water thrush, veery and four-toed salamander. The lake and adjacent wetlands attract a variety of migratory waterfowl. Other species of interest observed on a seasonal basis include bald eagle, osprey, tundra swan and common loon.

Local Directions

Located 25 miles southeast of Cleveland. From Burton, take Rapids Rd to Pond Rd. Turn east on Old Rider Rd. The parking area is located .25 mile north on Old Rider Rd.

Special Features

Bird Watching
Geologic Features

  • Glacial relict ponds
  • Forest and wetlands


Wheelchair Access
Observation Platform

  • 2.25 mile trail system
  • Observation platform

Managing Agency

Burton Wetlands Nature Preserve is owned and managed by the Geauga Park District and is open daily 6 am - 9 pm. For more information, call (440) 286‑9504.

Tell Your Preserve Story