The 174 acre Herron-Downs Fen Nature Preserve is located south of Kinnikinnick Creek and stretches
between US 23 to the west and SR 159 to the east. The property was acquired in late December 2022 and currently consists of riparian woodlands, isolated wetland areas, wooded ridges, and 90 acres of
recently active farm fields. But this will change. The Ohio EPA has approved a generous grant that will allow the entire preserve to be returned to its natural state, likely attracting threatened and endangered plant, animal, and insect species.
An ecological restoration plan has been developed to transform the farm fields into vernal pools,
shallow and deep marshes, forested wetlands, and wet meadows. The exciting work on this restoration will begin in 2024. The long term design for the preserve will include a networked boardwalk and trail system, observation decks and an observation tower. Work has begun on an initial 2.7 mile hiking trail that will provide the public with the unique opportunity to observe the wetland restoration process while enjoying some of the best lowland views in Ross County.