Black Fork Bottoms

Black Fork Bottoms

1457 US-42 Mansfield, Ohio 44903

Black Fork Bottoms webpage
Black Fork Bottoms map

About this Location

Black Fork Bottoms is a 127-acre property, which formerly belonged to Tom and Pat Gordon who developed and maintained it as a hunting preserve. Their hunting preserve drew hunters from all over the east coast. The Ashland Chapter of Pheasants Forever purchased the property from the Gordon’s using grants from the clean Ohio conservation program and the Ohio Division of Wildlife. In 2006 Pheasants Forever, who by charter are unable to hold land, gave the property to The Ashland County Park District, which will maintain it as a public hunting area and park.

The Black Fork Bottoms Hunting area contains several habitats, including swamp forest, marsh, grassland, and upland forest. The actual bottoms area of the park consists of high-quality swamp forest that is part of the floodplain of the Black Fork of Mohican River. A good diversity of trees includes Ohio buckeye and shagbark hickory. An uncommon wildflower growing in the swamp forest is the green dragon, a close relative of the Jack-in-the-pulpit.

The marsh area is also of high quality, with many native plants, including an aquatic carnivorous plant, the bladderwort, which captures aquatic organisms in its bladders. The marsh area also serves as an important breeding grounds for waterfowl, such Canada geese and the endangered trumpeter swan. Muskrat lodges provide nesting platforms for waterfowl.

The grassland has been planted on former agricultural land and will eventually have some native Ohio prairie added. Grassland will support a variety of animals, including rabbits, deer, and many grassland birds.

The upland forest is made up of different species of trees. These include various oaks, shagbark hickory, sugar maple, and American beech. Many woodland flowers bloom here in the early spring and many animals also utilize the upland forest.

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