Three guided bog hikes for National Public Lands Day

In celebration of National Public Land Day, the Friends of the Kent Bog are teaming up with the Ohio Department of Natural Areas and Preserves (DNAP) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to sponsor a series of interpretive hikes in three Portage County wetlands on Saturday, September 30.
Interpretive hikes at Triangle Lake Bog, Tom S. Cooperrider Kent Bog and J. Arthur Herrick Fen State Nature Preserves will highlight the ecological rarities of these glacially formed ecosystems. Each location has its own special attributes that contribute to its uniqueness. Bogs and fens are an uncommon and rapidly disappearing remnant of geological history when continental glaciers covered more than two-thirds of Ohio. Carnivorous plants, blueberries and cranberries as well as rare insects and reptiles inhabit these special places. Join local experts to explore each one.
10 a.m. at Triangle Lake Bog, 3612 Sandy Lake Rd., Ravenna, OH 44266
Hike leader will be DNAP Regional Preserve Manager Adam Wohlever
11:15 a.m. at Tom S. Cooperrider Kent Bog, 1028 Meloy Road, Kent, OH 44240
Hike leader will be DNAP Regional Preserve Manager Adam Wohlever
2 p.m. at J. Arthur Herrick Fenn, 8260 Seasons Rd, Streetsboro, OH 44241
Hike leader will be TNC Northeast Ohio Property Manager Kenneth Schneider
This timing will allow attendees to join a three hikes if they so choose. Transportation between sites will not be provided, and ride-sharing is recommended, as parking is limited at all three sites.
Below are the biographies for the two hike leaders and a detailed description of the hike(s) they will be leading. Also below are more detailed directions for each site.
Guide: Adam Wohlever
For the last 10 years, Adam Wohlever has served as regional preserve manager in northeast Ohio for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Natural Areas and Preserves. After a four-year enlistment in the U.S. Marine Corps, Wohlever enrolled in the natural resources management program at Hocking College in Nelsonville, Ohio. Graduating with degrees in forestry management and recreation and wildlife management, he has worked for various agencies, including the U.S. Forest Service, the Lorain County Metroparks and Ohio State Parks. He lives in Garrettsville, Ohio, with his wife and three sons. In his current position, Wohlever is responsible for the ecological management for 14 state nature preserves, ranging from freshwater coastal dunes to bogs and fens. The most satisfying part of his job is interpreting the wonder of nature for the public and his friends and family.
Walk: Triangle Lake Bog at 10 a.m.
Triangle Lake Bog is one of the finest and least disturbed sphagnum kettle-hole bogs in Ohio. The vegetational zone surrounding this glacial kettle lake follows the classic pattern of boreal bogs.
A floating sphagnum mat with swamp loosestrife, leatherleaf and tamarack surrounds the dark acidic waters of the bog lake.
Significant species found here include northern pitcher-plant, round-leaved sundew, leatherleaf, highbush blueberry, large cranberry, poison sumac and catberry.
Location and Directions
3612 Sandy Lake Rd., Ravenna, OH 44266
N 41º 07.118′, W 81º 15.789′
Located 1.5 miles northwest of the intersection of State Route 44 and Interstate 76 on the south side of Sandy Lake Road. From I-76 east, go north on S.R. 44 to Sandy Lake Road. Turn east (left) on Sandy Lake Road.
Walk: Tom S. Cooperrider Kent Bog at 11:15 a.m.
Kent Bog is a living relic from the Ice Age. In glacial times, the boreal forest, including tamarack, dominated the landscape far south of northern Ohio. Today, however, Kent Bog supports the largest, southernmost stand of tamarack in the continental United States.
There are more than 3,500 tamaracks in the population with many robust seedlings growing among the larger trees. Here, too, is a fine population of gray birch, also a tree of more northern distribution. Gray birch and tamarack are both potentially threatened species in Ohio.
With the passing of the Ice Age, the last glacier began to melt, leaving a huge block of ice which was gradually buried by silt, sands and gravel that continued to wash out of the retreating glacier. Eventually, the ice block melted and the resulting depression filled with water. Thus, a deep kettle-hole lake about 50 acres in size was formed.
The lake was surrounded by coniferous forest dominated by spruce, fir and tamarack. As the climate warmed, plants colonized the shoreline, encroaching upon the open waters. A floating mat of sphagnum moss and other bog plants began to cover the lake.
Although it would take thousands of years, this was the beginning of a natural process by which the basin eventually would fill in with peat until a bog meadow replaced the glacial lake.
What has become of the glacial lake? The natural process of filling with peat has finally been realized. No longer a lake, the kettle-hole has been transformed into a lovely bog meadow. These unusual environmental conditions have enabled most of the boreal vegetation to survive.
Location and Directions
1028 Meloy Road, Kent, OH 44240
N41º 07.764′, W81º 21.219′
From I-76 east take the Kent exit (SR 43) north to Meloy Road, head west to the parking lot.
Guide: Ken Schneider
Ken Schneider is the Northeast Ohio property manager for The Nature Conservancy, where he oversees restoration efforts at the conservancy’s seven northeast Ohio nature preserves. Before then, he helped manage invasive plants along the Grand and Ashtabula rivers. Schneider also has worked for the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, where he coordinated the museum’s invasive plant control program at Mentor Marsh State Nature Preserve and performed land management tasks at the museum’s system of more than 50 preserves. Before a shift to active conservation work, Schneider worked with Julia Child, John Updike and others at the publishing house of Alfred A. Knopf in New York, where he was an assistant editor of science and nature books. He also has been a bookseller, a press officer in Washington, D.C., a photo librarian in London, and a busboy at Denny’s. Schneider is a native of Akron, Ohio, and a graduate of Oberlin College.
Walk: J. Arthur Herrick Fen Nature Preserve at 2 p.m.
Herrick Fen Preserve is one of the last remaining boreal fens in Ohio. A fen is a wetland characterized by cold, alkaline, mineral-rich springs and spongy layers of organic matter called peat. At Herrick Fen, numerous springs flow from low gravel hills formed by glaciers during the last Ice Age 10,000 to 12,000 years ago. The unusual water chemistry in the springs encourages the growth of sedges and plants more common in northern climates. The preserve supports tamarack, the only native conifer tree in Ohio that sheds its needles each year, and is one of only three locations of northern bayberry, a distinctive shrub with waxy white berries. The site is named after Dr. J. Arthur Herrick, an early member of The Nature Conservancy board, a Kent State University professor and an avid naturalist. The 140-acre preserve is co-owned by The Nature Conservancy and Kent State University and is managed by the conservancy as a state nature preserve.
Location and Directions
8260 Seasons Road, Streetsboro, OH 44241
41.21404, -81.37116
From Streetsboro, travel State Route 43 south for 0.2 miles from its intersection with State Route 14. Turn right (southwest) on Seasons Road. Follow Seasons Road 2.2 miles to a gravel lane on the left (east) side just past a railroad crossing. Gravel parking lot on right.