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OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


The Future of Oak is in Our Hands

The Ohio Association of Natural Resource Outreach Professionals (ANROP) is offering a unique study tour opportunity on May 24 in southeastern Ohio. The day will begin at Canter’s Cave 4-H Camp and head to Speyside Bourbon Cooperage in Jackson. This is the former Merillat Cabinat production plant that now manufactures new bourbon barrels using Appalachian white oak. Speyside rarely opens to the public, and we are excited to have this stop on our tour.

Following lunch, the afternoon visit to the Vinton Furnace State Experimental Forest will include a wagon tour of research and demonstration areas where you will:

  • Visit the Iron Furnace and learn about the historic land use that led to the oak-dominated forests in southern Ohio.
  • Tour study sites focused on oak management including prescribed fire and harvesting studies.
  • Learn about vernal pool/amphibian, bobcat, eastern timber rattlesnake and other wildlife research that is being conducted at the forest.

A light breakfast and lunch are included in the $25 registration fee. A printable agenda is attached. We will meet at Canter’s Cave 4-H Camp in Jackson and then carpool to the first tour.

There is a lodging option that includes a hike of Canter's Cave the night before the tour (March 23). For an additional $25 (double occupancy), you can stay at the Leadership Center at Canter’s Cave. They have nine rooms available each with separate shower and restroom facilities.

5 to 7pm hike at Canter’s Cave 4-H Camp:

  • Experience sandstone cliffs and giant hemlock trees at Canter’s Cave
  • Learn about hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) in Ohio
  • See a large standing dead American chestnut tree a relic from the past
  • Observe bigleaf magnolia with its massive leaves (nearly 3 ft. long) and flowers (12 inch diameter). In Ohio this rare tree only occurs in the Rock Run area of Jackson County.

Registration is open at and limited to the first 50 paid attendees. All payments for OSU personnel will be done via funds transfers so your org and fund numbers will be needed when you register. This tour would make a great staff retreat as well.

ANROP is Ohio’s chapter of the National Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals. For more information on the chapter or study tour details, visit our website at or contact Dave Apsley (