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Claridon Prairie

Prairie Name

Claridon Prairie

Location

Claridon Prairie extends for about a mile along the north side of Marion-Galion Rd, but on the immediately -adjacent CSX railroad right of way. Marion-Galion Rd can be accessed from SR 98, just a few hundred yards north of the intersection of SR 98 and SR 309 east of Marion.

Owner

Claridon Prairie is owned by the CSX railroad company utilizing this railroad right of way. The public has no right to enter on to the prairie or right of way, but the prairie can be observed close at hand from the public roadside.

Prairie History

The Claridon Prairie is one of the only unplowed original prairies in Ohio, a fine representation of the massive prairies of the Sandusky Plains. It exists because the mile-long stretch of railroad right of way between the highway and the railroad tracks was never plowed or otherwise used. In the century-long use of steam locomotives, sparks from such locomotives commonly ignited prairie rights of way, maintaining the fire-adapted prairie species.

An Ohio Historical Marker noting the quality and history of the site was erected in 1978.

Size

The Claridon Prairie extends for approximately a mile along the north side of Marion-Galion Rd, with a width in the range of perhaps 50 to 75 ft. It is private, railroad property.

Prairie Description

This is one of the finest and most complete remnants of authentic, original Ohio tallgrass prairie, with over 100 species of representative tallgrass grasses and forbs of the Sandusky Plains. It almost surely has never been plowed.

Periodic prescribed fires would help suppress the incursion of woody brush species.

The Sandusky Plains Ohio prairie area is shown on the Ohio Prairie Regions Map.

Visitation Information

Again, to be very clear, the actual Claridon Prairie sits on private CSX railroad right of way, right next to the mowed berm of Marion-Galion Rd, from which the prairie can be closely observed. But the public has no right of access to the prairie proper.

There are no parking areas along the road, so visitors are required to carefully park on the grassy berm.  No restroom facilities or water are available at the site.


Claridon Prairie is one of the finest remnant prairies in Ohio; probably never turned by the plow, and formerly maintained by fires sparked from steam engines along the immediately adjacent railroad.