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Edward Thomas State Nature Preserve (Sharon Woods)


Preserving 320 acres in Franklin County

The northern segment of this preserve lies essentially within the Spring Hollow Outdoor Education Center lands. The ravine bottom supports sycamore, butternut, black walnut, Ohio buckeye, pawpaw and red elm.

The ravine and upland have excellent populations of forest herbaceous plants. A small spring-fed swamp in the bottomland supports skunk cabbage, marsh marigold and turtlehead.

In the remainder of the preserve, the mesic areas support an oak-hickory association with scattered beech, while wetter areas support excellent recovering elm-ash swamp forest associations - red elm, white, green and blue ash with silver maple. The mesic woods contains eight species of oaks, some more than 250 years old.

This preserve is named in honor of Edward S. Thomas, the renowned Ohio naturalist.

Local Directions

Located in Franklin County within Sharon Woods Metro Park on Cleveland Ave near Shrock Rd in Westerville. From I-270 east of I-71 take the Cleveland Ave exit north of Shrock Rd to the Sharon Woods entrance. A trail with an observation platform is accessible only to users of the Spring Hollow Outdoor Education Center. A loop trail with a large observation platform is open to the general public and is accessible from the Shrock Lake parking area.

Special Features

Spring Wildflowers
Summer Wildflowers
Bird Watching

  • Large oak trees
  • Oak-hickory woodlands


Drinking Water
Observation Area

  • Parking area
  • Trails

Managing Agency

Owned and managed by Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks

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