Dale and Jackie Riddle
State Nature Preserve

Dale and Jackie Riddle State Nature Preserve at a Glance
Date established:2003; purchased with Clean Ohio funds
Acreage (total):106 acres (43 hectares)
Miles of trails:No trails into the preserve
Hunting:No hunting allowed
Official preserve website:http://ohiodnr.com/dnap/location/riddle/tabid/958/Default.aspx
106 acres. This preserve was purchased by the City of Athens in 2003, with the project being coordinated by the Athens Conservancy. The preserve includes Hawk Woods, known as one of the most significant old-growth forests in Ohio. This tract of lands is believed not to have been materially disturbed in 150 years, and suffered minimal disturbance before that time. The trees are generally not immense in diameter, but are very impressive in height, particularly in the clear trunk length, which often translates into four sawlogs (which equals 64 feet of clear trunk before the first branch).

There is a deer exclosure within Hawk Woods, in order to protect sensitive plants from deer predation. There is an unfortunate deer overpopulation in the area, and they are threatening the vegetation of this preserve as they are threatening much of the more desirable vegetation of the area.

Directions to Riddle Preserve

To reach the Riddle Preserve, take State Street east in Athens to Avon Place, which is east of US-33, directly across from the exercise room of the Athens Community Center. Turn left on Avon Place and go to its end, where there is a small parking area for Sells Park. The Riddle Preserve does not have any road frontage, so it can only be reached by hiking. Take the Athens Trail from Sells Park. Once you reach the ridgetop, until you reach the first powerline crossing, you are within the preserve. Hawk Woods is down the hill to your left. Please tread lightly!.