Crooked Creek Barrens State Nature Preserve was established when the original 60-acre tract was dedicated on June 15, 1999. Today, 728 acres make up this unique preserve in Lewis County. The preserve features a unique oak barrens community and adjacent oak-hickory forest. Prairie species such as big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii), little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), and prairie dock (Silphium terebinthinaceum var. luciae-brauniae) occur in the barrens areas. This site also protects five rare plant species: starry false Solomon's seal (Maianthemum stellatum), white rattlesnake root (Prenanthes alba), slender blazing-star (Liatris cylindracea), earleaf foxglove (Agalinis auriculata) and scarlet Indian paintbrush (Castilleja coccinea).
The 1.35 mile Joyce Bender Trail opened to the public for hiking on July 15, 2017.