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Erie Sand Barrens State Nature Preserve

Preserving 32 acres in Erie County

Erie Sand Barrens is situated in the sandy beach ridges of glacial Lake Warren, a predecessor to modern Lake Erie. Because of past intensive agricultural activities, the flora of this preserve is not very diverse. Nevertheless, many state-listed species still remain.

The sandy soil of the preserve is well-drained and plants which survive here are adapted to its dry conditions. On the highest, driest ridges and knolls, prairie plants including green milkweed, partridge-pea and sand panicgrass thrive.

Wet depressions between the rises hold wet sedge meadow communities where plants more commonly found along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts occur. These include lance-leaved violet, Virginia meadow-beauty, twisted yellow-eyed grass and the only known Ohio population of least St. John's-wort.

Local Directions

Located in Erie County 9 miles south of Sandusky. From the junction of State Rte 4 and US Rte 2, follow State Rte 4 five miles south to Mason Rd; proceed 2-1/2 miles east on Mason Rd to Taylor Rd; then 1-1/2 miles to Scheid Rd.

The preserve entrance and parking area are on the south side of Scheid Rd just beyond Taylor Rd. A 1-mile loop trail is present.

Special Features

Summer Wildflowers
Bird Watching

  • Remnant beach ridges support dry sand prairie species
  • Wet meadows with rare plants


  • 1-mile loop trail
  • roadside parking

Tell Your Preserve Story