Smith Cemetery State Nature Preserve

Updated: Jun 4, 2020

Small pioneer cemetery that is now a State Nature Preserve

Smith Cemetery State Nature Preserve

4400 Boyd Road

Plain City, OH 43064

“Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt

Smith Cemetery State Nature Preserve was a surprising little find. It is an old pioneer cemetery. In 1834, it was gifted to Darby Township by Samuel Smith Jr. 148 years later it was dedicated as a nature preserve. It is now managed by the Division of Natural Areas and Preserves.


You Can’t Always Trust Your First Impression

When you first pull up to Smith Cemetery State Nature Preserve, you may be unimpressed. It is surrounded by flat farmland and there isn’t any good parking. You have to walk back a short path to get to the fenced-in cemetery. But once you get to the smallest nature preserve in Ohio, you will be surrounded by history.




Ohio History

The historical tombstones date back to the early 1800s. Some are rather intricate and give you a glimpse into the pioneers’ lives. The cemetery is not cut back. The original prairie grasses and wildflowers are permitted to grow freely. Narrow trails are cut through the vegetation. These trails wind through the headstones.


Wildlife and Wildflowers

We visited Smith Cemetery State Nature Preserve in March of last year. So, we did not have the pleasure of seeing the prairie flowers in bloom. But, we were able to see all the tombstones that are often hidden during the spring and summer months.



When the wildflowers are in bloom, I bet there are countless butterflies. And when there are butterflies there are caterpillars. One of the most interesting Ohio insects.


It might seem like a strange place for birding, but even during the drab month of March, there were a lot of birds. We even saw a rabbit.


Birds we spotted at Smith Cemetery Nature Preserve

· American Tree Sparrow

· Red-Winged Blackbird

· Mourning Dove

· White-Breasted Nuthatch

· Red-Bellied Woodpecker


In Conclusion

Taking everything into consideration, we would visit Smith Cemetery State Nature Preserve again. It is only .6 acres and has approximately ½ mile of trails, but it is definitely worth the stop. It might sound creepy, but is a very interesting place that is full of history.



What You Can Expect at Smith Cemetery State Nature Preserve

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


No Pets Allowed at Smith Cemetery State Nature Preserve

NO Pets Allowed



Natural prairie grass and wildflowers at Smith Cemetery State Nature Preserve

Natural trail that is rough and has vines and vegetation.



Shading at Smith Cemetery State Nature Preserve

Some shade thanks to the trees along the edge of the fence.



Birding at Smith Cemetery State Nature Preserve

Birding should be good. There are plenty of insects available when the wildflowers are in bloom.


No seating at Smith Cemetery State Nature Preserve

There is no seating available.




Parking at Smith Cemetery State Nature Preserve

Parking? What parking? There is a sign that states you are to park along the road.



Historical Tombstones at Smith Cemetery State Nature Preserve

Special Features - Historical tombstones and natural prairie grass and wildflowers.






Find Smith Cemetery State Nature Preserve Here



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