There are over 4 miles of trails to walk while staying at Nature’s Retreat. Many of these trails are through large hardwoods with beautiful vistas along the way. Woodland streams and 200-year-old oaks are in abundance. Some trails follow meadows and prairies teaming with life, or follow reforested farm fields now growing with a variety of coniferous and deciduous trees. Trails range from easy to moderate.
Nature’s Retreat has a variety of great habitats for many species of wildlife. The abundance of birds makes bird watching a favorite activity for those of us who call this area home. A bluebird trail with 25 birdhouses is an enjoyment to walk during the nesting season. Bluebirds, chickadees, tree swallows, and house wrens are common cavity nesters along the trail. Deer and turkeys are seen quite frequently while walking/observing along walking trails.
A native prairie has been planted with a variety of endangered and uncommon Ohio prairie plants. This prairie has been an outdoor classroom, and expanded by elementary students on various field trips through the last several years.
Environmental classes will be offered upon request for an additional charge when time and weather permits. Hundreds of elementary students have learned about environmental science through a variety of classes taught in this pristine environment. Classes include: pond study, stream study, fossil find, tree identification, ecosystems, tree aging, dig site, rock identification, natural prairie, bird identification, nature walk, stream walk, rock cycle, plus other outdoor educational classes. Classes are taught by Bob Hunter an avid naturalist, owner of Nature’s Retreat and 5th generation to live on the family’s home farm called Ancestor Acres. Bob holds two educational degrees from Ashland University, and currently teaches 5th grade in West Holmes School District.
Beautiful gardens and water features are sites to see as you walk from Annie’s Place to Ancestor Acres. Annie’s Place and Ancestor Acres are adjacent farms that have been combined to form the 150-acre Nature’s Retreat. Bring a sack lunch, or picnic, and enjoy the many stone benches and sandstone boulders to sit and enjoy your lunch on. The sound of water falling on rocks, or just meandering down a hillside stream is one you’ll not soon forget.
Enjoying a quiet early morning or late evening sit on a porch is a luxury of a lifestyle lost in the hustle and bustle of our modern world. From the porch you will look across a seldom-traveled township road into a meadow teaming with life. Butterflies, birds, deer, and turkeys are frequent visitors to the meadow. Inside the gazebo in the backyard sits a hot tub where a tired body can soak and rest, while watching wildlife in close proximity.
Horseback riding is available to those who have horses to bring. The old bank barn has stabled horses for well over a century. Woodland trails are ideal for walking or riding.
Catch and release fishing is available at our wildlife pond. We’ll provide the old cane poles you provide the bait. Largemouth bass, bluegills, crappies, and catfish are all stocked in the pond. But be careful of the redwing blackbirds, they have claimed this wildlife pond as their own nesting area.
A woodland site with a brick fire ring and firewood is located behind the backyard at Annie’s Place. A relaxing evening campfire to roast hotdogs and marshmallows sounds like the right recipe for family conservation. Located around 1,260 feet above sea level mosquito’s are not a problem on Nature’s Retreat.