Road Trippin’ with Truda: Cedar Bog Nature Preserve
Posted March 15, 2023
Yellow block with Road Trippin' with Truda written with the image of a vintage car.

By Truda Shinker, Ohio History Connection Membership Manager

Join me as I visit the sites in the Ohio History Connection network! This month's road trip took me to Cedar Bog Nature Preserve in Urbana.

To quote my husband, “This place feels really significant.” And I couldn’t agree more. After a walk through Cedar Bog Nature Preserve, it’s easy to see why it was Ohio’s first designated nature preserve in 1942 and is regarded by some as the crown jewel of the state’s natural areas.

Cedar Bog (the site is actually a fen and not a bog, but you can find out all about that when you visit) is home to 40 percent of the rare and endangered plant species in Ohio. I’m no plant expert, but I could definitely feel that Cedar Bog is different from other natural areas where I’ve hiked.

Address: 980 Woodburn Rd., Urbana, OH

How much time: I would recommend that you allow 1 ½ to 2 hours to give yourself time to poke around the Visitor’s Center and then take a leisurely and observant walk around the site. Although the boardwalk is just 1.2 miles long, it still took us over an hour to walk it because we stopped to look for flowers in bloom, take pictures of the wildlife--we saw deer, five-lined skinks and several types of dragonflies!—and read the informative signs. 

My favorites: I appreciated the quick overview a site volunteer gave us before we went outside. She told us what was in bloom and where to look. I’ve been to Cedar Bog twice and each time I’ve been impressed with the passion the volunteers have for the site. If you’re lucky enough to be there when site manager Mike Crackel is in the Visitor’s Center, be sure to talk with him. He knows every inch of the site and can provide insider info that will inform your experience.

Truda's Tips:  I would recommend that you call the Visitor’s Center at 937.484.3744 before you head over to Cedar Bog to make sure the boardwalk is open. The staff closes the boardwalk to the public any time the expected wind speeds may exceed 25-30 mph or if there are other unsafe conditions.

If you’re planning to make a day of it, you have a couple of options for lunch. There are picnic tables just outside the Visitor’s Center. We brought our lunch and enjoyed our PB&Js with a lovely view of the site. If you’re looking for restaurants, Urbana has a wide variety and is just a short 10-minute drive down US-68.

Don't Miss: Be sure to give yourself enough time to thoroughly investigate the small, but very thoughtfully curated Visitor’s Center. There’s a wealth of information in the displays that will make your hike more meaningful and enjoyable. And don’t forget to consult the detailed binder that shows everything in bloom by month. I loved knowing exactly what I should be on the lookout for during my hike.

For more information: Check out our website for hours and days of operation, as well as contact info. Cedar Bog also has its own website. And be sure to check out this great article about the site.

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