Gallagher Fen Nature Preserve

Gallagher Fen Nature Preserve

4709 Old Columbus Road Springfield, Ohio 45502

Gallagher Fen Nature Preserve webpage

Tips for Birding

Gallagher Fen is on Old Columbus Road. The entrance is from an unmarked parking area on the south side of Old Columbus Road. There is an address sign there for “4709”. Park in the parking area and walk the trail into the woods. In the woods is a sign for Gallagher Fen and an information kiosk. The trail to the fen goes through a mature woods with large trees and many birds. At the end of the woods trail, you come to an old cemetery with trails leading in several directions. They all circle the fen and return to this location. The trail that leads most directly to the boardwalk in the fen leaves from the back of the cemetery.

About this Location

John F. Gallagher Fen State Nature Preserve contains one of the best examples of a prairie fen community in the state. At least 26 state-listed species have been reported from this preserve. The fen meadows support a variety of fen species including prairie dock (Silphium terebinthinaceum), shrubby cinquefoil (Dasiphora fruticosa), tall larkspur (Delphinium exaltatum), grass-of-parnassus (Parnassia glauca), blue-leaved willow (Salix myricoides), Ohio goldenrod (Oligoneuron ohioense), and Canada burnet (Sanguisorba canadensis). The oak savannah above the fen meadows support a variety of dry prairie species including nodding onion (Allium cernuum), false garlic (Nothoscordum bivalve), little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), whorled rosinweed (Silphium trifoliatum), early buttercup (Ranunculus fascicularis), purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), false gromwell (Onosmodium molle var. hispidissimum), and hoary puccoon (Lithospermum canescens). The Preserve is named in honor of John F. Gallagher, a well-known environmentalist from Springfield.

  • High-quality spring- fed alkaline wetland
  • Spectacular display of prairie dock
  • Parking area
  • Trails
  • Partial boardwalk

Content from Gallagher Fen Nature Preserve webpage and Ken Ostermiller