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Cranberry Bog State Nature Preserve

Preserving 12 acres in Licking County

Now called Buckeye Lake this water area was once a swamp that was to be turned into a reservoir to feed the Ohio and Erie Canal system. The plan however didn't work because the new lake was too shallow to feed the canal for barge traffic especially during the dry season.

Strangely enough, it was the impoundment of the swamp in 1830 which made Cranberry Bog so unique. As the waters backed up behind the dike, all of the big swamp was inundated and destroyed, except the very youngest and therefore most buoyant segment of the bog mat.

Instead of disappearing beneath the mucky waters, as did most of the adjacent swamp forest, a 50-acre upper segment of the bog mat along the north shore stretched and expanded like a giant waterlogged sponge and rose 8 feet with the new water level.

No longer did the floating bog mat surround the glacial lake as is typically the case with such bogs. Now the lake surrounded the bog mat, the only known such occurrence of its kind in the world.

Local Directions

Located approximately 100 yards off the north shore of Buckeye Lake, just west of Cranberry Point. The island is accessible only by boat; a boardwalk is present. A public open house is held each June during the peak of orchid blooming.

Access is only by permit from the Division due to the fragile nature of the bog mat.

Special Features

  • Ohio's only bog island
  • Rare orchids
  • Carnivorous plants

Managing Agency

ODNR Natural Areas & Preserves

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