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Sharon Woods Gorge State Nature Preserve


Preserving 21 acres in Hamilton County

The 90-foot cliff of the gorge of Sharon Creek found in this preserve has been known to professional and amateur paleontologists and geologists for many years as an excellent exposure of Ordovician fossils. More than 450 million years ago, this region of Ohio was covered by a vast inland sea. The fossilized remains of the marine creatures which inhabited this sea have been revealed by the eroding force of Sharon Creek during the formation of the gorge.

The floor of the creek bed still shows the wave or ripple marks formed when the present-day rock was the mud floor of the ancient sea. The forest above the gorge is mainly beech, maple and ash with scattered tulip-poplar, oaks, walnuts, hickories and many shrub species.

Local Directions

Located southwest of the dam in Sharon Woods Park. Take Exit 46 off I-275 and proceed south on U.S. Route 42; proceed east on Kemper Road 1/2 mile to the park entrance.

Special Features

Spring Wildflowers
Geologic Features
Bird Watching

  • Limestone gorge
  • Ordovician fossils



A system of nature trails with an accompanying self-guided trail brochure is available. Off-trail access is by permission only. A motor vehicle permit must be displayed on all vehicles entering Sharon Woods Park. For more information, call (513) 521-PARK.

Managing Agency

This preserve is owned and managed by Great Parks of Hamilton County.

Tell Your Preserve Story