Located on Turner Rd. in Canfield Township, Sawmill Creek Preserve was established in 2002 with a grant through the Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program. Sawmill Creek is a major tributary entering the Meander Reservoir, and protection of this important resource is one of the reasons that the Sawmill Creek Preserve was established. With just under a mile of Sawmill Creek flowing within it, and thousands of feet of other small waterways traversing the property, this 154-acre preserve provides a significant degree of protection for the region’s natural resources.
Sawmill Creek Preserve consists of numerous distinct habitat types, ranging from young forests and meadow habitats in the west, to extensive forested areas in the east. Prior to acquisition the western parts of the Preserve were used in crop production, and the forests here consist mainly of pioneering trees and shrubs such as eastern cottonwood and black willow. The adjacent open meadows with various goldenrods, asters, and rushes support numerous small wetland habitats. In the east, riparian forests dominated by sugar maple grow along Sawmill Creek, while American beech and other mixed hardwoods dominate the forests on the eastern slopes overlooking the creek. Several small vernal pools are located within these forested habitats, providing breeding opportunities for the spotted salamander and other amphibians in the early spring before the pools dry up. Beautifully carved sandstone cliffs stand out in Sawmill Creek, providing a testament to the erosive power of flowing water.
Sawmill Creek Preserve is directly adjacent to the MetroParks Bikeway and provides Bikeway users with a shaded, natural corridor in the summer months and a spectacular color display in autumn. Several events, including naturalist-guided hikes, are held at Sawmill Creek Preserve each year.
Access is limited to MetroParks educational programs; there are no parking or restroom facilities available on-site.