Rhododendron Cove State Nature Preserve

Updated: Oct 23, 2020



2730 Pump Station Rd SE,

Lancaster, OH 43130

“When everything feels like an uphill struggle, Just think of the view from the top.” - Anonymous

Rhododendron Cove State Nature Preserve is a hidden gem. It is a beautiful, tranquil place. It isn’t the easiest place to find. There aren’t any signs along the road stating its location.


Finding the Parking Lot

We drove by and noticed the gravel parking lot and wondered it was the preserve. But since there wasn’t a sign we didn’t want to trespass. We continued up Pump Station Road and passed Wahkeena Nature Preserve, so we knew we went too far.


After turning around, we went back to the little gravel parking lot. Once we pulled in, we noticed the sign sitting back by the trail entrance.



The Trail Looks Innocent

The beginning of the trail is a mowed path that is flat. We went in March, and the trail was extremely muddy. We almost turned around but decided to continue. It was a good choice. The place is spectacular.



Once you reach the end of the mowed path, you make a left and begin your steep climb. The path is narrow in some areas and sits close to the edge of the hill. A wrong step could mean disaster. But it is wide enough for one person and as long as you pay attention and don’t goof everything should go smoothly.



Once you wind around the narrow trail, you come to some amazing rock formations. The trail makes its way between these rocks at an incline. The trail was covered in fallen leaves and moss which made for a slippery trek. But since the rock walls were so close you could hold on and make your way up while slipping and sliding.



Once you make it to the top, the terrain levels out. The path makes its way around the top, and the views are breathtaking.


Once you have taken in the natural beauty, you can either follow your trail back down or continue on another trail. We took the second trail for a short distance, but sunset was quickly approaching, and we needed to go.



If you only take the first trail, you will walk approx. 2.25 miles in all.




The Landscape

Rhododendron Cove State Nature Preserve is heavily forested. There are steep drop-offs and large rock formations. As the name implies, the preserve is full of rhododendron. Since we went in such a cold drab month, we didn’t have the pleasure of seeing all the beautiful blooms.




Positives

This place is absolutely beautiful. There was one other couple there when we arrived, and they left shortly after. The place was pretty much all ours. When we were heading back down, there was a family close to the top that was sitting down having a snack.


Negatives

The Rhododendron Cove State Nature Preserve sits next to the Columbia Gas Transmission Station. During the first part of the hike, the noise from the station is quite loud. Once you reach the top, the noise seems to disappear.


It can be hard to find since there isn’t a sign located at the road entrance.


There is a bit of a gas smell due to the proximity of the Columbia Gas Transmission Station. We only noticed it at the parking area.




What You Can Expect at Rhododendron Cove State Nature Preserve

Please note that park rules and regulations can change at any time. The following information was in effect for Rhododendron Cove State Nature Preserve as of March 2019.

Rhododendron Cove State Nature Preserve

There are no bathrooms.


Rhododendron Cove State Nature Preserve

There wasn't much bird activity when we were there. But it was in March.

Rhododendron Cove State Nature Preserve

Pets are not permitted.



Rhododendron Cove State Nature Preserve

Trail is steep and can be slippery.

Rhododendron Cove State Nature Preserve

Limestone parking lot that isn't marked.



Rhododendron Cove State Nature Preserve

There are no picnic tables.

Rhododendron Cove State Nature Preserve

There is no playground.

Rhododendron Cove State Nature Preserve

There isn't any seating along the path.


Rhododendron Cove State Nature Preserve

There is a lot of shade.


Rhododendron Cove State Nature Preserve

There is not a shelter house.

Rhododendron Cove State Nature Preserve

Trails are marked with ribbons.


Rhododendron Cove State Nature Preserve

Trail is natural ground.

Rhododendron Cove State Nature Preserve

There are no trash cans.


Rhododendron Cove State Nature Preserve

The only water was a very tiny stream flowing next the the main entrance path.

Rhododendron Cove State Nature Preserve

It is not wheel chair accessible.



Rhododendron Cove State Nature Preserve

Special Features - Rock features and rhododendron.

Locate Rhododendron Cove State Nature Preserve HERE




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