Burton Wetlands--Kettle Trail

About this Location

The Kettle Trail is a 1.12-mile circle trail.

About Burton Wetlands

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Burton Wetlands Nature Preserve in Burton Township is a 287-acre parcel that includes the Charles Dambach Preserve. Located within the upper Cuyahoga River watershed, Burton Wetlands was officially dedicated in 1999 as an Ohio State Nature Preserve.

Burton Wetlands grew through a series of acquisitions in the 1980s. The property surrounding Lake Kelso, purchased from Eric Westgren, once housed a private fishing club from the 1950s to the 1970s. The Dambach Preserve, named for renowned conservationist and onetime Burton resident Charles A. Dambach, was previously owned by The Nature Conservancy.

Burton Wetlands Nature Preserve is a system of forest, glacial relict ponds, and wetlands located in Geauga County. The preserve is made up of several sub-units including 22-acre Lake Kelso and the Charles Dambach Preserve. A designated National Natural Landmark, Burton Wetlands is widely considered to be one of the most ecologically significant areas in Geauga County.

This 287-acre parcel is part of a larger 700-acre complex of kettle holes, lower slope seeps, and wet flats referred to by The Nature Conservancy as the Cuyahoga Wetlands.

Burton Wetlands Nature Preserve supports several rare and endangered plants including green woodland orchid, bunchberry, and tamarack trees. Visitors should be wary of the lush growth of poison sumac along Lake Kelso.

Some of the rare animal species found here include northern waterthrush, veery, and four-toed salamander. The lake and adjacent wetlands attract a variety of migratory waterfowl. Other species of interest observed on a seasonal basis include bald eagle, osprey, tundra swan, and common loon.


  • Restrooms on site

  • Wheelchair accessible trail

  • Entrance fee

  • Roadside viewing

Content from Burton Wetlands Nature Preserve webpage