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Sheepskin Hollow State Nature Preserve

Preserving 468 acres in Columbiana County

Sheepskin Hollow State Nature Preserve encompasses an outstanding eastern hemlock ravine known as Sheepskin Hollow and mixed mesophytic woods. The preserve lies in a remote, isolated area of Ohio’s unglaciated Allegheny Plateau. Steep outcroppings of Pennsylvanian sandstone flank a headwater stream that feeds the North Fork of the Little Beaver Creek State and National Scenic River.

Water’s erosive force is demonstrated as the stream has removed the softer layers of sandstone, cutting downward to the less permeable shale bedrock. The deep, cool gorge creates a micro-climate ideal for eastern hemlock. Small fish, frogs and salamanders can be seen amid the pools and riffles of the stream.

Spectacular displays of wildflowers can be found in spring and summer. Large flowered trillium, red trillium, hepatica, pipsissewa and pink lady’s slipper all add color and intrigue to a spring hike through the gorge. Small glades along the stream flourish with black cohosh, orange jewelweed and Virginia waterleaf. Many interesting lichens, composite organisms of algae and fungi, cling to the seeping stony outcroppings of sandstone and shale. Ferns and liverworts also thrive in the moist cool environment of the hollow.

While the exact explanation of how Sheepskin Hollow received its name has been lost to history, it is possible that sheep grazing did occur in this area.

Local directions

Located 3 miles south of Negley on State Route 170. At the intersection of Pancake-Clarkson Rd and State Route 170, proceed 2.3 miles east on Pancake-Clarkson Rd to the small parking lot on the south side of the road. There is no marked trail system. Visitors are permitted to explore the entire extent of the preserve.

Special Features

Spring Wildflowers
Geologic Features
Bird Watching

  • Large beech, maple, oak and hemlocks trees
  • Narrow sandstone gorge with waterfalls
  • Spectacular wildflowers


  • Small Parking Lot
  • No trail system present
  • Visitors are permitted to explore the extent of the preserve

Tell Your Preserve Story