Arc of Appalachia US-52 Stout, Ohio 45684Official Website
There is a small gravel parking lot on the north side of US-52 across from Sandy Springs Campground. Moderately strenuous hike. Relatively mature and diverse forest. Several vernal pools.
Rock Run Wilderness is an Arc owned 780-acre region protecting the Appalachian hill country surrounding the exceptionally deep ravine of Rock Run, a small but pristine creek that flows directly out of the Shawnee Forest into the Ohio River. Rock Run lies near the southern borders of the state forest north of the Ohio River, east of Rome, and west of Buena Vista. This section of the Ohio River is known as Sandy Springs. Here the north shore of the river is bordered by wide, flat expanses of deep sand terraces.
Rock Run’s highly dissected wild Appalachian hill-country is exceptionally scenic, highly bio-diverse, and completely forested. It is arguably the wildest wilderness area left in the state. The hillsides show exposed layers of both shale and sandstone. The lower elevations of the hills protect a hemlock-black birch forest ecosystem, the upper elevations an oak-hickory forest.
The 300-foot depth of Rock Run’s valley is stunning, the topography including what may be Ohio’s greatest elevation change from ridgeline to stream bed per horizontal foot. The forest shelters bobcat, timber rattlesnakes, and over 10 rare and endangered plants. Rock Run’s lower elevations contain a rare forest association of black birch, hemlock, and sweetgum. To our knowledge, Rock Run is the only location giving this type of forest permanent protection in Ohio. Not surprisingly, Rock Run’s forest floor botanicals are spectacular, boasting rare flowers and an abundance of fern species
Content from Official Website and Joshua Eastlake