Originally the Gorge Trail was a loop covering both sides of the gorge with a footbridge over Sharon Creek. One side of the trail closed in the late 1980s due to erosion. The bridge is now gone, but the supports remain and are visible on the lower portion of the trail.
The Gorge Trail is a perfect place to bird watch. There are a variety of woodpeckers that can be seen and heard as they hunt for insects in dead trees. Other common birds include the belted kingfisher, barred owl, white-breasted nuthatch, tufted titmouse and Carolina chickadee.
In 1977, Sharon Woods Gorge was designated as a State Nature Preserve because it contains valuable examples of Ohio’s native plant and animal communities, geological features and the habitats of rare and endangered species. It is under the protection of the Ohio Natural Areas Act of 1970.
While walking through the gorge, you can easily see the alternating layers of shale and limestone rock. This is the same bedrock that is found throughout our area. These fossil filled rocks from the Ordovician period, about 450 million years ago, are quite unstable and are very prone to landslides.
Trail Length: 0.70 miles
Trail Type: Nature
Trail Level: Moderate
On this trail you may see a snake sunning himself on the ground or hunting for some food in a tree. The park is home to many species of snakes, including ring necked, black rat and the northern water snake that is often misidentified as a cottonmouth.
Sharon Woods has a 30-acre lake with a 3.5-mile shore line. The average depth of the lake is around six feet. Some of the more common species of fish in Sharon Lake are bluegill, channel catfish and small mouth and largemouth bass.
Look for wood ducks in quiet coves at the lake’s edge. This colorful and unique species is one of the few Ohio ducks that lay their eggs in tree cavities, which are sometimes 50 feet above the ground!
Eliminated from Ohio in 1830, beaver are slowly returning to Sharon Woods. It’s the largest rodent in North America, weighing up to 60 pounds. Flat, paddle-like tail and webbed feet enable it to navigate its aquatic environment with ease, sometimes staying underwater for up to 15 minutes.
Trail Length: 2.60 miles
Trail Type: Shared-use
Trail Level: Easy