Frequently Asked Questions

When can I visit Wahkeena? 

Our normal operating hours are: Wednesday through Sunday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

Is there a fee to visit?
Nope- A visit to Wahkeena is 100% free!

What does ‘Wahkeena’ mean? 

Wahkeena (pronounced WAH-KEY-NAH) is a Yakama word meaning “most beautiful.” This unique name was chosen by our founder, Carmen Hambleton Warner, naming her treasured property after a waterfall in the Columbia River in Oregon. 

The Yakama (self-named Waptailmim, “People of the Narrow River”) tribe resides in the Pacific Northwest

Where are you located?

Our address is 2200 Pump Station Rd. in Sugar Grove, Ohio. We are located about 6 miles south of Lancaster.

How big is the Preserve?
Wahkeena is comprised of 150 acres of forested hills in southern Fairfield County. There are three parcels of land that make up the 150 acres with 94 acres open to the public for hiking, bird watching, nature photography, and environmental education.

What is there to do at Wahkeena?
Our trail system is comprised of two self-guided interpretive trails (0.5 and 1 mile in length), and a floating boardwalk loop which winds through the wetland area. Our trails are what are called “rugged and unimproved.” This means that they are paths though the woods. They are not paved nor do they have wood chips or anything similar. Fortunately, due to the sandy nature of the soil, the trails are rarely muddy.

Wahkeena’s Nature Center is also a favorite, featuring natural history exhibits, an observation beehive, both live and taxidermized animals and a small giftshop! Two injured raptors can be found just outside, an Eastern Screech Owl and a Red-shouldered Hawk. Both are non-releasable, education animals and require a permit. 

Can I bring my dog for a hike?
No, unfortunately pets (including dogs on leashes) are not permitted at Wahkeena. Service animals are always allowed. In Ohio, many sites with the designation as a nature preserve do not permit pets, as they have the potential to interfere with local wildlife.

What rules must I follow while visiting the preserve?
For the enjoyment of all of our visitors please follow these simple rules:

  • Stay on designated trails
  • Lage, group picnicking is not permitted
  • No drones, metal detectors, alcohol or other controlled substances
  • No removing or damaging grounds, structures, natural or archaeological features
  • All photography is for personal use only
  • All organized groups require a reservation before visiting

How can I schedule a time for my organized group to visit Wahkeena?
 Because of parking limitations and naturalist availability, please schedule all organized group visits ahead of time. i.e. Scouts groups, homeschool, school, daycare classes, adult groups, clubs etc.  For more information, visit our page dedicated to environmental education.