Site of the endangered Lakeside Daisy, Hymenoxys herbacea (right), Lakeside Daisy State Nature Preserve is not a “prairie” in any conventional sense. But this curious rocky site has a number of remnant prairie species.
Lakeside Daisy State Nature Preserve
Located in Ottawa County south of Marblehead on the Marblehead Peninsula on the east side of Alexander Pike (Township Road 142), 0.5 mile south of SR 163.
Lakeside Daisy State Nature Preserve is owned and maintained by the Ohio Division of Natural Areas and Preserves.
The Lakeside Daisy Preserve is not a classic Ohio prairie in any regard. But it contains a number of prominent prairie plants, remnants of the now-destroyed Marblehead Prairie, an expanse of little bluestem-dominated native grassland covering exposed, elevated limestone formations on Marblehead Peninsula. The upper strata of these limestone deposits have been quarried away for limestone flux in iron production, and more recently for construction gravel.
The Preserve is a state-owned portion of the expansive Marblehead quarry. It is mostly exposed limestone, with a fraction of soil within surface fractures in the quarried limestone, wherein a number of remnant prairie species survive in exceptionally dry and alkaline conditions.
Interesting Marblehead Prairie remnants at the Lakeside Daisy Preserve—beyond the eponymous and endangered Lakeside Daisy, Hymenoxys herbacea—include: Rock Sandwort, Arenaria stricta; Balsam Squaw-weed, Senecio magnicamporum; Nodding Wild Onion, Allium cernuum; Dense Blazing-star, Liatris spicata; and Stiff Goldenrod, Oligoneuron rigidum.
Visitors to the Lakeside Daisy State Nature Preserve should be aware of several visitation concerns. Do not attempt to walk out onto any adjacent open quarry lands. These are all owned by the local quarry company and for legitimate safety concerns the company does not want or allow the public’s trekking across private quarry lands.
Even when on the Preserve, remain on the walking trails, as the rare plants of the Preserve can be easily crushed by footsteps.
Adhere to posted speed limits on Alexander Pike. The local constabulary is not hesitant to site violators.
Of course, to not attempt to collect or remove seeds, plants, or rocks. Take only photos and memories.
During the village of Marblehead's Daisy Day Festival, on Mother’s Day each May, there are naturalist-led walks. For more information, contact (440) 839-1561.
Ohio Division of Natural Areas and Preserver information on the site can be viewed and downloaded here: