Last Updated on October 1, 2023 by Cindy
Glen Helen Nature Preserve is immediately east of Yellow Springs, Ohio. It is the largest private nature preserve in the region. As well as being stunningly beautiful, there is a lot to do at Glen Helen. The 'Yellow Spring' that gives the town its name can be found here.
Visit Glen Helen Nature Preserve
Glen Helen Nature Preserve is adjacent to the main Antioch College campus. Hugh Taylor Birch donated the initial 700 acre area to Antioch College in memory of his daughter Helen Birch Bartlet in 1929.
It is the largest private nature preserve in the region, being just over 1,000 acres in area, and it was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1965.
The beautiful Yellow Springs Creek gives the town its name, and the Creek can be viewed from many of the trails.
Hiking in Glen Helen Nature Preserve
With over 20 miles of eastern deciduous forest, Glen Helen is full of rustic trails as well as stone steps and wooden boardwalks that pass by streams and dense forests.
Depending on which trail you choose to tackle, you could expect to pass by the historic Yellow Springs, The Cascades waterfalls, The Grotto, Pine Forest, Covered Bridge, Pompey's Pillar and the Hopewell Indian Mound.
The trails are rated in difficulty. Some are suitable for children, and you can also take your dog on a leash on some of them.
Glen Helen Nature Preserve Trails
We list some of the more popular trails at Glen Helen here:
Inman Trail at just over a mile long, this is a moderately challenging loop trail that takes around 28 minutes to complete. Dogs on leashes are allowed and it is also kid-friendly, can be muddy and you will encounter lots of wildlife.
Glen Helen Loop Trail 4.2km (2.5 miles) of moderately challenging loop trail, this one takes just over an hour to complete. You can bring your dog on a leash, although it is probably a bit much for kids. You will pass by a lot of wildlife and nature.
Upper Birch Creek Trail is 2.4km (1.5 miles) and winds above the banks of Yellow Springs Creek as well as crossing several springs. Spring water is available along the trail, although it is untreated, so drink it at your own risk! No dogs on this trail. Of course, you will encounter plenty of nature and wildlife along the way.
Fire Road Trail is 2.9km (less than 2 miles) and passes by the Pine Forest and Horace Mann Monument. Dogs on a leash are allowed, and of course, there will be the expected nature and wildlife throughout the trail.
Facilities at Glen Helen Nature Preserve
There is a lot to do at Glen Helen, other than hiking. There are some education centers for both kids and adults, and the focus of this preserve is very much on raptors along with the ecological systems of Ohio.
The Trailside Museum is the weekend welcome center for Glen Helen. The displays and exhibits allow visitors to get an understanding of, as well as a closeness to nature. Here is where you can also pick up trail maps and gear.
The Glen Helen Raptor Center
The Raptor Center is a rehabilitation center for injured birds. The center has the goal of not only healing them, but also releasing them back into the wild. Visitors can view the Ohio native birds of prey species kept in outdoor enclosures.
You can hike to the Raptor Center, following one of the trails, or drive straight there. The center is open in winter from 9am to 5pm, in spring and fall from 9am to 6pm and in summer from 9am to 7pm. Find more information from the Glen Helen Official Site
Fun and Educational Seasonal Programs
Glen Helen Nature Preserve has a lot of programs throughout the year, including, but not limited to, guided trails, bird-watching, etc. Some examples of the programs you may find at any given time are: Spring Beauty Saunter: Wildflower Walks. Native Plant Swap: you are invited to offer plants you have to donate or swap! Prairie and River Walk: look out for the native birds! To discover what is on offer when you are planning to visit, go to the Glen Helen Program Calendar
Glen Helen Nature Preserve Quick Facts
- Opening times are 'from dawn until dusk'.
- Parking is $5
- Raptor Center
- Outdoor Education Center
- Riding Center
- Program Calendar
Where is Glen Helen Nature Preserve
Glen Helen Nature Preserve is located at:
405 Corry Street, Yellow Springs, Ohio 4538
Phone: 937 769 1902 | Website
What People Are Saying About Glen Helen Nature Preserve
"Really enjoyed our visit to Glen Helen Raptor Center. The birds are beautiful and the people who work here have hearts of gold as they try to rehabilitate any injured bird, and also care for the ones that cannot be returned to the wild. Bird viewing is outside so be sure to dress for the weather." - MS, February 2023
"This was a very easy to navigate park. The trail was beautiful..." JC, (Vincennes, IN) July 2022
"Trails were well marked with numbered positions that referred to the trail map. (Make sure you print one out before you start the hike.)
We had a great time. Good hiking, not too strenuous for us old-timers, but still great exercise in the beautiful forest." DN, (Park City, UT) April 2022
NOTE: Follow this link to download the Glen Helen Trails Map
Let's go to Glen Helen Nature Preserve
Have you been to Glen Helen Nature Preserve? Which was your favorite trail? Did you visit the Raptor Center or any of the other facilities? We want to know. Drop us a comment below telling us about your visit!
Would you like more things to explore in Yellow Springs? You might like our round up of Things To Do In Yellow Springs Ohio as well as our Yellow Springs Hiking feature. A couple of lovely time-fillers in Hocking Hills are Clifton Mill and Clifton Gorge. Other Reserves include Indian Mound Reserve, a great day out for the whole family!
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