Cedar Bog is located 4 miles south of Urbana and 1 mile west of US Route 58. Cedar Bog is a haven for scores of plant and animal species commonly found in the area after the last ice age, but are now considerably rare. In fact Cedar Bog is one of the few places in the country that shows how the land looked just after the big warm up 12000 years ago or so. This is the land that the wooly mammoths and saber tooth cats would have been familiar.
One of the most characteristic plants found in the preserve is white cedar or arbor-vitae. Significant boreal, as well as prairie and coastal plain species. Some of the more unusual plants include small yellow and show lady's-slipper orchids, smaller fringed gentian, swamp birch, shrubby cinquefoil, prairie valerian, Riddell's goldenrod and queen-of-the-prairie.
There are 7 varieties of sedges that are the same sedges found here 11,000 years ago. You might wonder how the scientists can be so certain. The answer is that a mastodon was recovered just east of Cedar Bog in Licking County in 1989. As the scientists began dissecting this ancient beast they discovered it had eaten sedges just prior to its death-- the same sedges still growing at Cedar Bog.
This 450 acre preserve is a National Natural Landmark set aside as a nature preserve in 1942. When visiting, remember, this is a wet lands and you can expect plenty of mosquito's, so take a few precautions. The water temperature averages about 52 degrees. A new education center opened in 2009 that provides exhibit space, gift shop and classrooms.
When visiting, stop in at the visitor's center and pick up some basic information, check lists of of wildflowers and other plants that you might find at that time of year. From the visitor center, there is one main raised boardwalk that divides, giving the visitor the option of how far they wish to walk.
A bog is a wetland type formed from excess rainfall, with dissolved tannins from the plant matter giving a distinctive tan color to bog waters.
Fens are wetlands characterized by continuous sources of ground water rich in magnesium and calcium. This groundwater comes from glaciers that have melted, depositing their water in layers of gravel and sand. The water sits upon layers of soil (glacial drift) that are not permeable; thus keeping the water from sinking beneath the surface. The water is then forced to flow sideways along the surface, where it picks up minerals in its path that contribute to the special chemical make-up of fens.
980 Woodburn Road
Urbana, Ohio 43078
In 1942 Cedar Bog became the first nature preserve in Ohio that was purchased with state funds, but the efforts to preserve the area actually started a few decades before with the efforts of Florence Murdock and others to set aside and protect this distinct area and prevent it being lost forever. The area was known as Cedar Swamp and once covered around 7,000 acres of the Mad River Valley.
Today Cedar Bog Nature Preserve is a haven for scores of plant and animal species that were common after the last ice age, but are now extremely rare, even endangered.