South Bloomfield, Ohio 43103
The Pickaway County Park District is excited to announce our partnership with Appalachia Ohio Alliance (AOA) on the purchase of the former Cooks Creek Golf Course. In April of 2022, AOA purchased the 324 acre golf course from the James Cook family to conserve, protect and restore the property. The Park District is very thankful that the Cook family wanted their property to be retained as a natural preserve and park, given how quickly farmland and green spaces are disappearing in Pickaway County, especially in Harrison and Scioto Townships. This new preserve will provide a place for the flora and fauna of the property to thrive, and for the public to experience some exceptional passive outdoor recreational opportunities in the future.
In one of the first such partnerships, the Park District has purchased 25 acres of the former golf club, including the clubhouse, associated maintenance buildings, paved parking lots and the entry road from AOA. The Park District will utilize the site for a passive nature park for the Pickaway County community and will utilize the 17,000-square-foot clubhouse as our new Park District headquarters and a future nature center. Additionally, the existing 5.25-mile concrete and asphalt cart path will be shortened and transformed into a nature trail. The Community Nature Center, along with the nature trails and wildlife observation spots, will serve as a valuable recreational resource for the local community and the state of Ohio.
The new preserve features numerous lakes and wetlands adjacent to Walnut Creek and the Scioto River and provides exceptional habitat for many species of breeding and migratory birds. Preserving the 299-acre property safeguards 3,485 linear feet of riparian corridor along Walnut Creek and nearly one mile along the Scioto River. Both waterways maintain exceptional water quality in this stretch. Travel paths such as the Scioto River Flyway Corridor are especially important for migrating neotropical birds and waterfowl. The site also provides excellent habitat for other migrating species such as bats and butterflies.
The sizable Circleville esker, a distinctive geological formation, runs through the Preserve from north to south and provides valuable upland and habitat diversity adjacent to the floodplain areas. Groundwater from the esker supports the nearby forested wetland zones.
The property boasts bottomland hardwood forests with species like cottonwood, sycamore, swamp white oak, silver maple, smaller American elms, box elder, and hackberry.
**Currently not open to the public**