Boch Hollow State Nature Preserve presents yet another hiking opportunity in the Hocking Hills region. Formerly a permit-only preserve, it is now open to the general hiking public. The 572-acre preserve is also one of the state’s newest. Currently, 3.5 miles of trails traverse the property, but we noted many new trails under construction, so that number is sure to increase. The trail system is laid out in a series of three loops. For ease of navigation, a note posted at the trailhead kiosk suggests to stay right at each trail intersection. We did, and it worked out well for us.
Kathy and I hiked all the trails on a mild Saturday afternoon recently and were the only visitors there. We found the preserve and surrounding area very peaceful. During the middle of our hike Kathy commented how it was enjoyable to hike through a variety of habitat types and not just woods. I agreed. The trails at Boch Hollow travel through habitat types ranging from mature woodlands, ridgetop fields, wet bottomlands, pine plantations and small rock outcroppings. This provided enough variety to keep the hike interesting since the preserve doesn’t feature any magnificent rock formations, waterfalls or caves the Hocking Hills are known for.
One of the more scenic spots in the preserve is near the beginning of the hike. Approximately .5 mile from the parking lot the trail arrives at a scenic pond with a gazebo perched waterside and small dock extending into the water a few feet. No fishing is allowed though.
The trails here are wide and in excellent condition. For the most part they are free of roots or rocks and offer a pretty smooth path for hiking. Trail runners would really enjoy working out here.
We didn’t see a lot of life–flora or fauna–on our hike but deer signs were everywhere. They appear to bed down frequently in tall dried grasses that dominate the ridgetop fields. The shoulder seasons are undoubtedly the best times of year to visit: wildflowers in the spring and the changing of the leaves in fall.
Boch Hollow is located on Beach Camp Road approximately 7.5 miles north of Logan. Take State Route 664 North from Logan and turn right onto Beach Camp Rd. Arrive at the trailhead parking lot in .75 mile. There is a sign for the preserve on SR 664 at Beach Camp Road.