Kessler Swamp


Gift Protects Habitat for Beaver and Wetland Plants
Natural Ohio
A Publication of Ohio Department of Natural Resources  
Division of Natural Areas and Preserves
Spring 2003
Volume 25, No 2
Page 2





Northern Hocking County is home to another preserve. Unlike most Hocking Hills preserves, which showcase magnificent geology, this area protects a wetland swamp.  A special site, not because of the list of endangered plants that call the area home, but because of its mere existence.

The swamp is actually the impounded water of Durbin's Run, a tributary of Rush Creek.  The waters are held by a low earthen dam and the industrious work of the large beaver population that live there.

Kessler Swamp State Nature preserve is also a favorite stopover for a variety of waterfowl during fall and spring migrations.  Great blue and green herons use the waters as a feeding station.  Even bald eagles have been spotted perched in one of the dead trees that stand boldly amidst the water.

The vegetation is typical of a naturally-developing tributary swamp.  Large stands of buttonbush grow in shallow waters and several herbaceous plants inhabit the swamp edges and mudflats.

In the fall, bur-marigolds, also known as beggar ticks because their barbed fruit stick to clothing, provide a spectacular display of yellow flowers.

The 20-acre preserve, a generous gift from Dr. Francis and Mrs. Joyce Kessler, is located in Marion Township. The preserve is open, but the only public facilities are a small parking area, bulletin board and observation deck at the south end of the swamp.  A larger deck with a bird blind is planned for later this year.

For more information on Kessler Swamp State Nature Preserve, contact the South Central Preserve District office at 740-420-3445.



Kessler Swamp Observation Deck
Kessler Swamp's Observation Deck is located less than a ½ mile from the front gates of Hide-A-Way Hills.


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