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Hach-Otis State Nature Preserve

Overview

Hach-Otis Sanctuary is an 130-acre forested tract overlooking the beautiful Chagrin State Scenic River valley. Located in Willoughby Hills and within 20 miles of downtown Cleveland, the preserve has been protected as a bird sanctuary since 1944. The generosity of two local families preserved this beautiful bluff-top forest of native hardwoods and hemlocks. The woods was originally donated to the Cleveland Bird Club (a forerunner to the Audubon Society of Greater Cleveland) by Mr. and Mrs. Edward A. Hach and by Harold T. Clark, a philanthropist who bought 56 acres of choice forest from Harrison G. Otis. The sanctuary was dedicated as an interpretive nature preserve in 1977 and an additional 46 acres was dedicated in 2020.

Primarily a beech-maple-oak mixed mesophytic forest with deep ravines of eastern hemlock, Hach-Otis is home to some unusual plants including trailing arbutus, pink moccasin flower and red trillium. There are a few young American chestnut trees along the bluffs. Many of the ancient beech trees have completely hollow trunks and provide "apartments" for a number of different species of animals. Squirrels can be heard barking among the treetops, and pileated woodpeckers, great horned and barred owls, white-tailed deer, foxes and raccoons are some of the other animals found within the preserve. The steep eroding clay banks high above the Chagrin State Scenic River are ideal nesting spots for bank swallows and noisy kingfishers.

Bluffs overlook the Chagrin State Scenic River re-cutting an old valley that was completely filled with glacial drift during the last ice age. The ridges stand more that 150 feet above the streambed of the ever-changing river. The unstable hillsides of glacial clays and sands perched above shale are constantly being eroded by the meandering arm of the river.

Trails

1.5 miles of hiking trails

Emergencies

Call: 911

Non-Emergency

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Natural Features

    Available Trails

      Activities