Nature Preserve Bigelow Cemetery State
Geographic Location: west of
Plain City, OH
Length: short, but variable
Difficulty: 0/10 (Easy)
Last Hiked: July 2004; pics taken July 2016
Overview: A unique walk through a cemetery obscured by tallgrass prairie.
Preserve Information: http://naturepreserves.ohiodnr.gov/bigelowcemetery
Google Map: http://www.mappedometer.com/?maproute=175400
Directions to the trailhead: From
, go west on SR 161 8.2 miles to Plain City Rosedale Rd. and turn left on Rosedale Rd. Take Rosedale Rd. south 0.3 miles to the preserve on the right, which is marked by a large state nature preserve sign. There is no parking area, but you can pull off the road in a grassy spot beside the preserve entrance.
The hike: As I drove up to the preserve on a warm July evening, I was really not sure if I would enjoy the experience that awaited me. Even though I was headed for a state nature preserve, would I enjoy walking through an old cemetery? Is it possible to get a decent hike out of a preserve that is smaller than my front yard?
As it turns out, the experience I had at Bigelow Cemetery State Nature Preserve ranks as one of the most unusual hiking experiences I have ever had, and one that I would like to repeat again. At only 0.5 acre, this preserve is the smallest nature preserve in the
Ohio nature preserve system. Still, its content is a treasure for everyone who loves the natural world.
What you will find at this preserve is a rare piece of prairie land that has never been farmed or grazed. Of course, the reason it remains “untouched” is because, at the times of earliest settlement, this land was set aside as a cemetery. The earliest known burial occurred in December of 1814, and the cemetery remained active until 1892, the date of the most recent burial. From this point, the cemetery remained inactive, and often in a state of disrepair, until 1978 when the land was dedicated as a state nature preserve.
|Information board and kiosk|
|Hiking a trail through the cemetery|