Ohio Humanities has put together a series of trails highlighting points of interest to illustrate topics such as Historic Farms and Civil War Presidents. These curated trails offer opportunities to sample national history locally made.

Darby Plains Remnant and Restoration Trail

For hours of operation and admission fees, click on the individual sites’ visitor information.

Explore the remnants and restored grasslands of the once vast Big Darby Plains. Prior to European settlement, prairies and grasslands stretched across hundreds of miles of Western Ohio. In the summer, the colorful wildflowers of the prairie rose only interrupted by towering oak trees. The Big Darby Plains, one of the largest prairie systems in the state, covered an area from Marysville in the north to Washington Courthouse in the south. Today, only a fraction of Ohio's native tallgrass prairies remain.

After American settlers began crossing the Ohio River in the early 19th century, the grasslands were slowly lost to agricultural development and climate change. This trail contains both grassland remnants and restorations. As unbroken links to the prairie past, the remnants provide a near-perfect representation of the grasslands that blanketed western Ohio over two centuries ago. The restorations carefully recreate the ecosystem of the past by planting new prairies from remnant seeds and the reintroduction of wildlife species central to prairie ecology.

The trail also provides valuable learning opportunities to learn about Native American lifestyle patterns, early American settlement in Ohio, and 20th and 21st-century conservation efforts.

Melvin Barnes