AUGUSTA-ANNE OLSEN STATE NATURE PRESERVE - 132 ACRES
Beautiful views of the Vermilion River Gorge; excellent spring wildflowers.
Located in Huron County, this preserve is just a short drive from Wakeman. Formerly named the Vermilion River Preserve, it now bears the name of Augusta-Anne Olsen, who, with her husband, was instrumental in protecting the significance of this scenic natural area.
Olsen donated 83 acres to the Division of Natural Areas and Preserves to ensure that her Ohio farm would not experience the same fate as her childhood home. Later in 1996, the division purchased an additional 47 acres of the farm.
Today, Olsen State Nature Preserve features ridge top oaks and maples towering above a mixed floodplain forest and the Vermilion River.
The half-mile Spring Trail offers great diversity and a wide variety of spring wildflowers in April and May including twinleaf, bluebells, sessile trillium, large-flowered trillium, drooping trillium, ginger, bloodroot, marsh marigold, hepatica, wild hyacinth, golden saxifrage, dwarf ginseng and showy orchis.
Both the River Loop Trail and the River Trail offer excellent wildflower viewing, as well as American chestnut trees. The Sassafras Trail features one of the largest sassafras trees in the state, as well as spectacular views high above the river on a ridge of serviceberry and witch-hazel.
The Vermilion River, which runs in a huge bend around the preserve, has created many small plant communities with different exposures offering a great deal of diversity in a relatively small area.
Birding along the river is outstanding in the springtime. Bald eagles, pileated woodpeckers, scarlet tanagers and many species of wood warblers can be spotted in the preserve. The floodplain also offers many vernal, or seasonal, pools of water teeming with breeding amphibians, such as dusky, redback and smallmouth salamanders.
Located about 1 mile north of Wakeman on West River road. Open to the public, this preserve features a trail system.
Abide by Preserve Rules at all times