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Clear Creek (Allen F. Beck)
State Nature Preserve

Preserving 4,769 acres in Fairfield/Hocking County

The Clear Creek Valley is a special scientific, scenic and geologic area. Centuries of flooding by glacial meltwater have cut the present gorge area through Black Hand sandstone, leaving behind scenic cliffs and rugged formations overlooking Clear Creek.

This preserve honors former Columbus businessman, Allen F. Beck, who in the 1920s recognized the area's intrinsic values and began acquiring and nurturing these lands. Later, the lands were donated to the Columbus/Franklin County Metro Parks to become the nucleus of this large natural resource conservation area.

More than 800 vascular plant species have been recorded from the preserve including rhododendron, mountain laurel, trailing arbutus, creeping phlox and eastern hemlock, in a close relationship with the typical oak-hickory forest of this region. The black vulture reaches its northern limit in Ohio here and at least 18 species of warblers are reported to nest within Clear Creek Valley.

Local Directions

Located approximately 7 miles south of Lancaster. Follow U.S. Rte 33 to Clear Creek Rd and proceed west 3.5 miles. The preserve includes land on both sides of Clear Creek and the adjacent Clear Creek Rd.

Special Features

Geologic Features
Spring Wildflowers
Summer Wildflowers


  • sandstone gorge
  • spring wildflowers
  • warblers


Drinking Water

  • 20 miles of trails
  • three picnic areas
  • fishing access
  • restrooms

Managing Agency

The preserve is owned and managed by the Columbus/Franklin County Metro Parks. For more information, contact (614) 891-0700.

Tell Your Preserve Story