Brown’s Lake Bog is a 7-acre kettle hole bog in Southwest Wayne County near Shreve (google maps). The bog is part of a larger 100-acre preserve owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy. The bog was originally purchased in the 1960s with an additional purchase of adjacent land in 1990. It was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1968. At the entrance to the trail, there is a plaque that reads, “Under the provisions of the Historic Sites Act of August 21, 1935, this site possesses exceptional value in illustrating the natural history of the United States.” The preserve provides habitat for several rare species, many of which can be seen from the boardwalk and the one-mile forest loop trail. It is open to the public from dawn to dusk. Carnivorous plant taxa that can be found at this site in abundance include Sarracenia purpurea and Drosera rotundifolia.
From Ohio Route 3, take OH-226 East toward Shreve. Follow OH-226 for 3.3 miles. Turn left on McFadden Rd; continue on McFadden Rd for 1 mile, including a slight right turn to stay on the road. Follow the road to the left on Funk Rd for 0.4 mile. Turn right on Brown Rd; continue on for 0.7 mile until the road curves to the left. A small parking area is on the right.
What to see:
Follow the boardwalk the whole way to bog, where you will find a floating Sphagnum bog with healthy populations of pitcher plants (S. purpurea) and sundews (D. rotundifolia). Companion plants, such as grass pink orchids are also present. Be careful to avoid the poison sumac that shares the same habitat and remember to stay on the boardwalk, taking only photos. On warmer days in the summer, the bog area can be a bit unbearable since the wind does not easily penetrate the ring of trees surrounding the bog. Biting flies and mosquitos are also a nuisance, so prepare accordingly!