Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions we get about the Stone Head Nature Preserve and the Stone Head Conservancy. If you don’t see the answer to your question here, it may be answered elsewhere on this website. You can search our site from the top right corner of any page on the site, or please feel free to contact us at any time
Absolutely! The Preserve is open to the public from dawn to dusk, 365 days a year. That’s really what it’s here for–the enjoyment of all nature enthusiasts for generations to come.
Of course, you can. The Stone Head Nature Preserve is open to the public. We’re thinking, however, that once you visit the Preserve, you’ll begin to appreciate the Preserve. When we appreciate something, we tend to care more about it. Once we care about something, we tend to take the next step to caring for it. Maybe then you’ll want to become a member and help us in our ultimate goal of leaving our world a little better.
There are currently two parking areas for visitors. The main one is at the Zimmerman Overlook on Bellsville Pike, about 200 yards east of the intersection with State Road 135. The second parking area is on the gravel parking area behind The House at Stone Head (THaSH), leaving the driveway open. THaSH is the yellow “farmhouse” at the intersection of State Road 135 and Bellsville Pike. THaSH is a vacation rental, so please be respectful of any guests who may be renting The House and the private property on which it sits.
No, but it is immediately adjacent to the Preserve and we sometimes share the parking area behind it. The House at Stone Head (THaSH) was built in the mid-1800s and is on the National Register of Historic Sites. It is a privately-owned vacation rental for visitors to the Brown County area. When visiting the Preserve, please be respectful of folks that may be staying there.
In the simplest terms, the Stone Head Nature Preserve is the place, the 122 acres of land. The Stone Head Conservancy is the 501(c)(3) public charity organization whose Directors are charged with the preservation, maintenance, and management of that land.
A resounding YES! You can only see about a fourth of the Preserve from the road. What you see there is the Zimmerman Wetland Bird Habitat portion of the Preserve. The larger part of the Preserve lies south of the Middle Fork of Salt Creek. It is the heavily forested ridge to the south and the large meadow to the southwest, both accessed by crossing the creek. In this part of the Preserve you may find additional solace, with an elevated view of the Salt Creek valley, another bucolic creek alongside a steep bluff, deep woods of darkness punctuated by the discovery of hidden meadows, and artwork of man and nature.
Well, sometimes you don’t. There are times, especially after a heavy rainfall, that the creek is too high to cross safely. But more than 95% of the time, you can cross the creek just south of the campfire area near THaSH. The trail going south from the campfire ring will take you to the crossing. In the summer months, the water is warm enough that you can simply take off your shoes and socks and wade across. At other times, however, high-top rubber boots, what some call “pig farmer boots,” are recommended. Another trick is to bring along some trash bags. Put one over each foot and hold them up while you cross the creek. You can then take the bags off your feet and leave them by the creek to use when coming back.
You may be surprised to find out how many times we get this question. The trails can be wet and sloppy because it is a wetland, pure and simple. One of the longer-term projects the Conservancy has in mind is the addition of boardwalks over the sections of the trails that remain wet for longer periods of time. Becoming a member of the Conservancy is one way you can help with this project.
Yes, and we want to have many, many more. The largest event is our Nature Awareness Weekend (NAW) held in mid-May each year. It is a two-day event that showcases the Preserve and offers educational walks and talks throughout the weekend. Check elsewhere on our website for more information on our next NAW. We also have other outings, some looking at birds, some studying trees, and still others looking at the wonders of the wetlands, and so much more. We are also looking into holding day-long workshops as well. Again, watch our website for details. Or, better yet, follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our blog for the latest on all things relating to the Preserve and the Conservancy.
There are three general ways you can help:
- Become a member
- Make a monetary donation to the Conservancy or even to a particular project (boardwalks, for instance)
- Volunteer your time and labor
Because the Conservancy is a 501(c)(3) public charity organization, we are dependent upon fund-raising efforts in order to continue our work of preserving, maintaining, and managing the Stone Head Nature Preserve. Gifts are always appreciated, whether it is through your annual membership, a one-time monetary gift, or simply volunteering some of your time during our periodic property maintenance days. Remembering the Stone Head Conservancy in your estate planning may be another option. Rest assured of three things:
- Your donations are always greatly appreciated,
- Your donations are always tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law, and
- Your time and money will be used for the preservation, maintenance, and management of the Stone Head Nature Preserve and nowhere else!