The Scheele Preserve is a secluded tract of land on the east side of the island that features a short half-mile hiking trail. The entrance to the trail is located on the east side of Monagan Road, just north of the intersection with Hamilton Road. The preserve is less than half a mile from the main entrance to the East Quarry Trails. The trail passes through open meadow, groves of low-growing trees, and thickets of tall grass before arriving at a quiet slice of shell beach.
The Scheele Preserve is owned by the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and is home to several rare plants and animals. It is one of only five places in the state of Ohio where you can find rock elm trees. The thin soil of the alvar habitat supports an unusual blend of boreal, southern and prairie plant species. These plants provide a habitat for the caterpillars of Snout and Swallowtail butterflies. Like North Pond, the Scheele Preserve is an excellent place for birdwatching. It is also home to a long-term owl banding research project run by the museum.
For more information on our island’s natural spots, visit the website of the Kelleys Island Audubon.