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Windswept hills covered with nutrient-poor soil support vegetation typical of the Appalachian Mountains.

Three trails venture to Allen Knob, Ruble Knob and the lower slopes of Shallenberger Nature Preserve for a total distance of 2 miles. This is relatively short trail affording a good workout while offering sweeping views of southeastern Ohio and a look at botanical life typically found over in the Virginias.

From the parking lot head eastbound into the woods bearing right at the first trail intersection to ascend along the southern slope of Allen Knob. Within a short distance you'll come to another trail junction. This time turn left and ascend Allen Knob, which provides a lovely view of the Appalachian Plateau and surrounding farm fields. This segment of trail harbors the most concentrated stand of spring-blooming mountain laurel. Retrace your steps back to the main trail and head east crossing a small creekbed and picking up Arrowhead Trail. It ascends along the northern side of Ruble Knob. When you reach the next trail junction, make the hard right and climb Ruble Knob. After enjoying more scenery and unusual plant life, once again retrace your steps back to the main trail. Continue in a northeasterly direction onto Honeysuckle Trail. Within a short distance the trail meanders back west, then eventually dips south to cross the same creek and continues along the northern slope of Allen Knob. As you near the end of your hike, the trail dips southwest crossing a small wooden footbridge to spill you back onto the main trail. Turn right and head back to the parking lot.

Directions: From Lancaster, OH, Take U.S. Route 22 southwest approximately 4 miles. Turn north onto Beck's Knob Road and proceed 0.25 mile to parking lot with trailhead.

Elevation: 1,140 feet

Distance: 2 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

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Shallenberger Nature Preserve, Ohio

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The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

Review by Wildernet Copyright © 2010 all rights reserved.