Nature Preserves

cicada on tree

Silvoor Biological Sanctuary

At approximately 5 acres, the Silvoor Biological Sanctuary is the smallest of Miami’s Nature Preserves. It is comprised of a mosaic of lands owned by the University, and those owned by private landowners. It features a small stream, a short hiking trail,songbirds and other wildlife, but is known for its abundance of spring wildflowers.

The heart of Silvoor Biological Sanctuary is a 2.5-acre tract of land donated in 1978 to the University by Dr. Robert A. Hefner. Prior to that, Dr. Hefner and his wife, Ilo, spent decades converting this former town dump into a beautiful sanctuary.

In 1980, Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Fitton donated a portion of their land, which was part of the Sanctuary, to Miami with the understanding that it remain a part of Silvoor Biological Sanctuary. The sanctuary houses an extensive wildflower garden with over 60 species on showy display seen during the scheduled walks or casual walks each spring.

Bachelor Wildlife and Game Reserve

During the twenty years that Dr. Joseph M. Bachelor served on the Miami faculty, he accumulated land adjacent to the University. He lived on the land, farmed it, and in 1947, gave 416 acres to create the Bachelor Wildlife and Game Reserve, the backbone of the natural areas. The Bachelor Wildlife and Game Reserve is managed to establish and preserve habitat diversity for native plants and wildlife. A variety of animals live in the Reserve including beaver that frequent Bachelor pond.

This land encompasses a number of interesting features and attractions. Some of these include the scenic Harkers Run Creek spanned by a 45' swinging bridge, wood ducks nesting at Bachelor Pond, pinewoods and old growth woodlands of beech, maple and oaks. Over six miles of trails connect these interesting areas.

College Wood

College Woods is a 16 acre second growth wood-lot with many trees that had been a part of Western College for many years. Many of the trees are over 100 years old. The woods contain many interesting species including: white ash, american beech, black cherry, slippery elm, shagbark hickory, American hop-hornbeam, chinquapin oak, shingle oak, pawpaw, sassafras, black tupelo and black walnut.

Reinhart Reserve

In 1991, Dr. and Mrs. Roy Reinhart donated 45 acres of land adjacent to the intersection of Oxford-Milford Road and Bonham Road . Amenities include old growth woodlands, meadows, springs, streams and scenic overlooks with trails connecting all.

4-Mile Creek

Purchased in 1962, the area comprises about 100 acres of land. Miami's riding stables are on this tract of land and an additional 20 acres are designated as pasture for the horses. Ten acres are designated for the Miami University 's Recycling Center. Thirty-five acres are cultivated for agricultural purposes, the proceeds of which go to help maintain the Natural Areas. Along this route, hikers can also get a close-up view of the DeWitt house, the oldest standing log cabin in the Oxford area.

Western Woods and Beck Reserve

The Western Woods comprises approximately 100 acres located on the eastern and southern sides of Western Campus. There is a hiking trail through this beautiful woodland area that travels hills and valleys through a magnificent stand of oaks, beech and maples.

In 1997 the University acquired Beck Reserve. This land was part of the estate of the late Dr. William and Virginia Beck. Their son, Michael Beck and his wife Noreen, stipulated in the transaction that the land was not to be developed. Today, trails travel along Four Mile Creek up hillsides with beautiful views of the valley below and through mature woodlands.

Kramer Woods

Paul and Edith Kramer donated this twelve-acre tract of land to the University in 1987 that is typical of a mature wood-lot in southwest Ohio . It is maintained in its natural state. Hiking trails are continuous with those of the Bachelor Reserve. Kramer Woods' trail provides a variety of hills and slopes for hikers to climb. Upon reaching the top, hikers are rewarded with a stunning view of the forest below.