2020 Hike #43 on September 16th at Amy Weingartner Branigin Peninsula Preserve in Bloomington Indiana

52 Hike Challenge

General Info

The Amy Weingartner Branigin Peninsula Preserve is located at 7466 E Rush Ridge Rd, Bloomington, IN 47401.

This special nature preserve is located in the middle of Monroe Lake, which is designated an “Important Bird Area” by the National Audubon Society. It is located on a portion of the former site of the Indiana University Alumni Association’s Shawnee Bluffs camp. The preserve features a long, forested ridge that extends out into the lake, which is the source of drinking water for the area. Sycamore’s work to protect and restore habitat here benefits biodiversity, clean water, and environmental education.

Thanks to the generosity of the Weingartner and Branigin families, this nature preserve was named in memory of Amy Weingartner Branigin. Amy was a lover of nature, especially bats, and explored caves as a kid while her father Larry Weingartner conducted his research on cave fauna. When Amy passed away in 2012 of a brain tumor, her family sought a way to memorialize her in nature. This is a fitting tribute to the life of a wonderful person.

The trail at the preserve is named in memory of Don and Betsy Whitehead, thanks to gifts from the Whitehead family and friends. Don and Betsy spent many hours birding at Lake Monroe, and Don was the long-time organizer of the Lake Monroe Christmas Bird Count. Don also led groundbreaking research on the effects of forest fragmentation on migrant songbirds in southern Indiana.

Click here for more information.

My visit

This Preserve has been on my list for quite a while. It is closed on weekends and holidays right now, so I had to wait until my schedule was cleared through the week in order to go. Tracy joined me on this Hike #43! This was our last hike of the summer!

This is an out and back trail. Even though the main trail is gravel, it does have some significant elevation changes. We added a little to the trail by hiking to the lake shore. We hike 2.9 miles total. Lake Monroe is very large!

Scroll down to see the pics from the hike! I did some different editing on the pics. I think some of them look like paintings. 

2020 Hike #43 Photo Slideshow (Set to "Jeepster" by T. Rex)