Habitat for Beaver and Wetland Plants
A Publication of Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Division of Natural Areas and Preserves
Volume 25, No 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 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's Observation
Deck is located less than a ½ mile from the front gates of Hide-A-Way