Description - Jay M. Shallenberger, the area's original owner and protector, wanted to see his land both preserved and open for the enjoyment and education of Ohioans. His wishes were carried out through the foresighted actions of the Fairfield County Commissioners, who received the area after his death in 1971. Early in 1973, the commissioners transferred the property to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. On May 15, 1973, the area was dedicated as a scenic state nature preserve under the Natural Areas Act of 1970; it is managed by the Division of Natural Areas and Preserves. Shallenberger is one of the nature preserves in a statewide system established under the act.
Copyright: Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Shallenberger Nature Preserve
- At Shallenberger Nature Preserve visitors can hike to Allen Knob, a promontory of highly resistant sandstone, and the smaller adjacent Ruble Knob. Allen Knob towers 240 feet above the surrounding countryside and provides an impressive vista of the central Ohio lowland plains to the west.
The unglaciated tops and steep sides of Allen and Ruble knobs have thin, rocky soils low in moisture and nutrients. Mountain flora namely chestnut oak and mountain laurel are common on the knobs. Nature enthusiasts will also find a variety of ferns including polypody, ebony spleenwort and walking fern.
Recreation - Two miles of trail explore hilly and steep terrain.
Climate - This state has four distinct seasons and a brilliant fall foliage display in it southern woods during mid October. Winter lasts from December through February with average temperatures near 25 degrees F. Low temperatures dip to single digits, but do not often drop below zero. Northern regions of the state receive average snowfall amounts of 55 inches, while the central and southern regions of the state receive lesser amounts with averages near 30 inches. This difference is caused by lake-affect moisture patterns.
Spring temperatures begin to warm the landscapes of Ohio by mid March and are in full swing by April. Temperatures range from 40 through 70 degrees F through the spring months. This season often brings the most rainfall, before the drying heat of summer. Summer can be extremely hot and humid in the interior of Ohio. Temperatures reach above 90 degrees F frequently through July and August. Cooler fall temperatures don't reach the region until mid to late September. This is a pleasant time to visit as the air is crisp with low humidity levels. Ohio's annual precipitation usually reaches slightly above 50 inches.
Shallenberger Nature Preserve is located in Fairfield County 4 miles southwest of Lancaster on U.S. Route 22.