The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Natural Areas and Preserves invites Ohioans to once again enjoy the view from the boardwalk at the Fowler Woods State Nature Preserve in northern Richland County.
“The hard work rebuilding the boardwalk at Fowler Woods will not go unnoticed,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said. “Reopening this stretch of the nature preserve will give people a bright view of fall colors as well as some of the most vibrant spring flowers.”
Following years of planning and construction, crews put finishing touches on the boardwalk last week as ODNR Director Mary Mertz walked along the path. The boardwalk is more than 1.25 miles in length and was built to ADA standards with new handrails and benches placed along the route.
The boardwalk closed to the public in the Spring of 2014 when an Emerald Ash Borer invasion weakened and killed a vast majority of the ash trees at the preserve. The boardwalk was damaged by hundreds of infected and falling trees in the following years.
In 2018, ODNR cleared the trees and began a total rebuild of the boardwalk. Construction began in the summer of 2020. The project cost more than $480,000 which was funded through a Recreational Trails Program (RTP) grant and funds donated to the Division of Natural Areas and Preserves through the State of Ohio income tax checkoff program.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) encourages people to get out and experience nature in Ohio. To find a state nature preserve, state park, state forest, or wildlife area near you visit ohiodnr.gov.