Location & Description
The 11,119-acre Crown City Wildlife Area, located in portions of Lawrence and Gallia counties, is situated in southern Ohio approximately 3 miles south of Mercerville. The primary access to the wildlife area is from State Route 218 and State Route 790. Crown City Wildlife Area is located in the unglaciated region of southern Ohio. The terrain, dissected by numerous small streams, is rolling to rugged. Elevations vary from 515 feet to 1,060 feet above sea level. Much of the land that comprises Crown City Wildlife Area has been subjected to surface mining. It consists of 67 percent forestland, 32 percent grassland/open land and less than 1 percent wetlands and ponds.
History & Purpose
Crown City Wildlife Area was purchased from Barrick Gold by the Richard King Mellon Foundation in 1997 as part of their American Land Conservation Program. They, in turn, donated it to the Division of Wildlife. Before European settlement, this area was virgin forest. Today all of the forests are second or third growth timber. Surface mining took place on Crown City from 1975 to 1987. As with other strip-mined lands, Crown City Wildlife Area affords the opportunity to provide habitat for declining grassland nesting species. Active management activities include managing 600 acres of native warm season grasses and annually planting 40 acres of food plots for dove fields. The forested portion of Crown City is managed for recreational opportunities and will continue to be maintained to offer a diversity of successional stages providing a variety of game and non-game wildlife species.
Largemouth bass and bluegill are the predominant species of fish in the ponds and wetlands. White-tailed deer, cottontail rabbit, turkey, mourning dove, squirrel, and grouse are the principal game species. Also, Crown City is becoming increasingly popular as a bird watching destination. Many bird species, some rare, are found throughout the unique grassland/brushland landscape.
Crown City Wildlife Area is a popular destination for hunting, fishing, trapping, and other forms of wildlife recreation. Scattered ponds which were created through the reclamation process provide fishing prospects for anglers. To the extreme southeast of the wildlife area is a 360-acre parcel that provides access to the Ohio River for additional fishing opportunities and waterfowl hunting. The combination of woodland, open areas, and islands of vegetation left undisturbed during the mining process creates transitional zones that provide brushy and reverting fields. These areas are prime habitat components that provide excellent hunting opportunities. The diverse nature of the Crown City Wildlife Area also provides the opportunity for trappers to pursue nearly all Ohio furbearers.