By Riley Harshman
In Bremen, Boch Hollow State Nature Preserve has managed to stay a beautiful secret. Overshadowed by places like Old Man’s Cave, Boch Hollow has done a lot more than providing a hiking trail.Boch Hollow is not the go-to destination for many Southeast Ohio residents, but that only increases the quality of the preserve. As one of nine State Nature Preserves in Hocking County, Boch Hollow provides a unique and quaint nature respite.
As a preserve, Boch Hollow serves to uphold nature. Boch Hollow is home to the largest population of Federally Endangered Running Buffalo Clover in Ohio. Chief Botanist Rick Gardner and his team discovered the clover in May 2008. “It was a really exciting find, and the first official count was just over 1,000 plants,” Gardner says.
According to Gardner, there are now more than 6,000 Running Buffalo Clover at Boch Hollow. Gardner credits Preserve Manager Levi Miller for the increase in the clover’s population at the preserve. Miller, who has worked at Boch Hollow since January 2013, is an outdoorsman extraordinaire with a passion for protecting native plants and wildlife. “The Division of Natural Areas and Preserves really puts the resource first,” Miller says.
In addition to the clover Boch Hollow features a trail system that covers more than 7 miles of trail through the woods. Hikers can expect to see countless trees, ponds, streams, wildlife and Miller’s favorite, Black Hand Sandstone. Black Hand Sandstone dates back to approximately 320 million years ago.
In 2016, Boch Hollow made some changes to the trail system. With help from the Buckeye Trail Association, Miller was able to expand the trail from 3.5 miles to 7 miles. Miller thanks the Buckeye Trail Association for the expansion, “They helped me out by helping lay out trail, and by helping build the trail.”
Boch Hollow is home to a variety of wildlife including deer, foxes, coyotes, bobcats, owls and a diverse population of birds. “We have between 55 and 58 species [of birds] we get every year,” Miller says. Some of the species you will find during migration season include warblers, cuckoos, thrush, orioles, buntings and vireos.
Robinson Falls is a Boch Hollow site worth the visit. The slim waterfall dips into a skinny stream burrowed between two cliffs. The location of the waterfall requires a permit as Robinson Falls is located in an off-trail area, and a different route must be taken to reach it.
The numerous attractions in Hocking Hills, like Old Man’s Cave, garner a lot more public attention than Boch Hollow, but as Miller notes, “The serenity and the calm and the quiet that you get at Boch Hollow you don’t get at other more populated areas.”
For more information regarding Boch Hollow visit naturepreserves.ohiodnr.gov/bochhollow or go to the Facebook page at Boch Hollow Nature Preserve.