Siegenthaler-Kaestner Esker State Nature Preserve

Siegenthaler-Kaestner Esker State Nature Preserve

West Liberty, Ohio 43357

Siegenthaler-Kaestner Esker State Nature Preserve webpage

Also, see all the hotspots at:
Champaign County Birding Drive

About this Location

Siegenthaler-Esker’s 37 acres were donated by Mr. and Mrs. Vaughn L. Siegenthaler whose generosity has ensured that this landscape will continue to inspire the curiosity of future generations.

  • Glacial landforms including eskers
  • kames
  • outwash valley and kettle pond
  • parking
  • trail system

An esker is a narrow ridge of stratified material (till that has been sorted and deposited in layers according to grain size by running water). Steep sides and a sinuous shape are common features. Most eskers were formed in tunnels carved through the lowest level of the glacier by meltwater streams. When the glacier finally melted away, the rocks, sand, and gravel dropped into the bed of the stream and remained as an esker to mark its course.

Eskers are usually discontinuous and this one is no exception. The ridge just south of the main esker is part of the same ancient streambed.

The ridge to the west represents a separate channel cut through the ice. It is lower and wider than the main esker, which may indicate that it is made of a different mix of sand and gravel, or may reflect an unknown change of conditions in the melting ice sheet. The small knolls north of the eskers are kames, piles of gravel dropped into pits and crevices in the glacier by meltwater streams flowing on top of the ice. The small pond to the east is known as a kettle and was formed when a block of ice was left behind and surrounded by till. When it melted, a depression remained which filled with groundwater. Eskers, kames, and kettles are called ice contact features because they were formed in or against ice.

The wide, flat valley west of the eskers is an outwash channel made of gravel melted out of the glacier and deposited in sheets in front of its retreating edge. The presence of outwash and ice contact features show the ice was stagnant or in retreat when they were made. During the formation of this landscape, the glacier was melting back to the north and the meltwater streams were flowing south.

Located in Champaign County, northwest of Urbana, between Urbana and Rosewood; from Rosewood follow OH-29 east 8 miles to Calland Road, proceed north on Calland Road 2.5 miles, then east on Couchman Road 0.5 miles to preserve entrance. Parking and trail system.


  • Restrooms on site

  • Wheelchair accessible trail

  • Entrance fee

  • Roadside viewing

Content from Siegenthaler-Kaestner Esker State Nature Preserve webpage