What looks like piles of dirt at Adams Lake Prairie State Nature Preserve in Adams County are the carefully built homes of thousands of Allegheny Mound ants. The mounds are constantly under construction as rain and wind are continually eroding the ants’ hard work.
The ants keep the area clear of vegetation by biting plants that start to invade their territory. When they bite, the ants’ formidable mandibles (jaws) secrete formic acid which kills the plant. Larger trees take several bites need several bites to be killed.
The mounds are impressive structures about two and a half feet tall and three feet in circumference at the base. The ants typically won’t bother people as long as their mound is not disturbed.
You don’t have to go inside of the mound to watch these fascinating creatures, just don’t disturb the mounds.
Once you’re done hiking at Adams Lake State Park and Adams Lake Prairie State Nature Preserve get in a few more miles at Wilderness Trail, Buzzardroost Rock, or Chaparral Prairie State Nature Preserve.
All of these hikes are in 60 Hikes within 60 Miles Cincinnati.