Lawrence Woods State Nature Preserve

Lawrence Woods State Nature Preserve

13278 County Road 190 Kenton, Ohio 43226

Official Website
Short-eared Owls at Lawrence Woods

Birds of Interest

The fields surrounding the parking area near the boardwalk provide good habitat for Short-eared Owls in the winter. Watch for the owls flying over the fields just after sunset.

About this Location

Lawrence Woods is significant because it is the largest known mature forest in this region and is home to a number of rare plant and animal species. Lawrence Woods features exceptional large trees; oaks, hickories, maples, and beech; good spring wildflowers. Several plant community types are present within the forested area depending on the elevation. The highest and driest sites have an oak-hickory forest type. On the slightly less dry ground, the community grades into beech-maple, beech-oak-red maple, and maple-ash-oak swamp communities.

  • 1.1-mile boardwalk
  • Exceptional large trees; oaks, hickories, maples, and beech
  • Good spring wildflowers

The forest has large trees of many species including white, yellow, red, and bur oaks, as well as beech, white ash, shagbark hickory, red maple, sugar maple, and sycamore. There are substantial buttonbush swamps within the forest in areas that are inundated for most of the year. Heart-leaf plantain (Plantago cordata) occurs in Lawrence Woods. This species is only known from three sites in the state and is an endangered species. Grove sandwort (Arenaria lateriflora), a state-listed species, may be seen along the boardwalk. This is an excellent spot for viewing spring wildflowers.

Located in Hardin County, about 4 miles south of Kenton. From OH-31 bear right onto OH-292 and then turn west onto County Road 190. The Woods Boardwalk trail begins near the northwest corner of the woods. The Prairie Path trail leaves behind the sign in the parking lot.

Notable Trails

Lawrence Woods Trails
The Lawrence Woods boardwalk through the wooded section of the nature preserve is a 1.1-mile loop. In addition, trails of various lengths are mowed in the prairie section.

The AllTrails website has a description and map of a hike at Lawrence Woods.


  • Restrooms on site

Content from Official Website and Ken Ostermiller