Rhododendron Cove State Nature Preserve
This preserve is near Sugar Grove in the northwestern portion of the Hocking Hills region. A hike to the top of the ridgeline is not for the faint of heart but provides a view of the Hocking River Valley to the east for hikers willing to go the distance. This dry ridge forms a horseshoe shape, supporting an impressive chestnut oak community with Virginia and pitch pine, sourwood and mountain laurel, blueberry, deerberry, and state listed flame azalea (Rhododendron calendulaceum). The cooler north facing slopes below the cliff lines form an environment better suited to eastern hemlock, black birch and the great rhododendron (Rhododendron maximum). This is likely the home of the largest native population of this native rhododendron in Ohio. Peak blooming is late June and early July.