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Rhododendron Cove State Nature Preserve

Preserving 75 acres in Fairfield County

This preserve is within the Sugar Grove Region of the Hocking Hills. A relatively strenuous hike to the top of the dry ridgeline affords a view of the Hocking River Valley to the east. This dry ridge forms a horseshoe shape, supporting a significant chestnut oak community with Virginia and pitch pine, sourwood and a well-developed heath layer of mountain laurel, blueberry, deerberry, and state listed flame azalea (Rhododendron calendulaceum). The cooler north facing slopes below the cliff lines form an environment better suited to eastern hemlock, black birch and another state listed member of the heath family – the great rhododendron (Rhododendron maximum). This is likely the home of the largest native population of this native rhododendron in Ohio. Peak blooming is typically during late June and early July.

Local Directions

The preserve is located south of Lancaster and northwest of the village of Sugar Grove. A small gravel parking lot is located on the north side of Pump Station Road approximately 0.1 miles west of Old Logan Road.

Special Features

Spring Wildflowers
Summer Wildflowers
Geologic Features
Bird Watching

  • State listed flame azalea
  • Likely largest native population of great rhododendron in Ohio


  • Parking lot
  • 1.2 mile trail - remain on marked trail at all times

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