2020 52 Hike Challenge ~ Hike #14 Blog on April 22

Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve in Ellettsville Indiana

General Info

Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve is located on N. Woodall Road in Ellettsville, IN. This property is owned and managed by Sycamore Land Trust.

This large wetland preserve features a diverse combination of bottomland hardwood forest, shrub wetlands, sedge meadow, and successional fields. The majority of the property has been dedicated as an Indiana State Nature Preserve by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, and it has also been designated a state Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society. Eighty bird species have been documented during the breeding season, including bald eagles that have actively nested there for the past several years. The preserve also serves as important habitat for many other threatened and rare animal and plant species. Public access is provided by the Beanblossom Bottoms Environmental Education Trail, which was funded by the Duke Energy Foundation and the Dr. Laura Hare Charitable Trust and built largely by the efforts of over 250 volunteers. This two-mile trail features a raised boardwalk and observation decks over the wetland, allowing visitors to experience an otherwise inaccessible area. A gravel parking is next to the trail head on Woodall Road. Click here to find out more!

My visit

Sadie accompanied me on this hike! We made a stop at the IU campus first to photograph the tulips at the Sample Gates. We were planning on going to another park, but the other park only had a 6 vehicle parking lot, and it was full when we got there! This was our back-up plan. This nature preserve also has a limited parking lot, but we luckily took the last spot. My iPhone logged our hike at 2.1 miles. It is definitely an easy "hike" for those who are physically challenged.

The start of this nature preserve's trail is not that stellar. I was really wondering if it was going to be worth our time! You start out on a wide gravel trail. Once you get to the boardwalk portion of the trail, it starts to get more interesting. After you leave the gravel trail, you are either walking on a wooden plank boardwalk or a plastic deck. These are both narrow (3 feet wide). If you are worried about the 6 feet social distancing, this is definitely not a good choice for you!

The area is a marsh. I'd have to guess that it will be full of bugs soon, including lots of mosquitoes. There was a tornado that hit the preserve in 2018. There is a section of the preserve where the damage is very extensive. There were plenty of wildflowers along the trail. If this sounds interesting to you, I'd recommend visiting sooner rather than later due to all of the standing water in this preserve. Scroll down to see the pics from our visit!