2020 Hike #12 on April 16th at Bluffs of Beaver Bend Nature Preserve in Shoals Indiana

52 Hike Challenge

General Info

Bluffs of Beaver Bend Nature Preserve is owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy and the Indiana Division of Nature Preserves. It is located on Spout Springs Road in Shoals, Indiana 47581.

The Bluffs of Beaver Bend Nature Preserve is one of the crown jewels of our state's nature preserves.  It offers colorful sandstone cliffs that tower over the White River. Ferns and a variety of lower plants carpet the cliffs and hillsides with a kaleidoscope of colors and textures. Look for the sections of cliffs that have broken away from the bedrock and exposed unique geologic formations. Bluffs of Beaver Bend has been known by several names including White River Bluffs, Sprout Springs, and Gormerly's Bluff. The area, now named for the large bend of the White River and Beaver Creek, has a rich history. Native Americans used the bluffs as shelter and the river as a source of food. Large beds of freshwater mussels existed in the river, and traces of these shells can still be found today. Moonshiners, bootleggers, and gangsters have also played a part in tales told about the Bluffs as has buried treasure. Regardless of whether these stories are true, the Bluffs of Beaver Bend is truly a gem.

The Nature Conservancy further consolidated the site, giving Bluffs of Beaver Bend permanent and sustainable protection. With the DNP, the Conservancy is reforesting the floodplain to buffer the high-quality preserve lands. The existing woods will be protected and the lowlands will be restored to bottom-land hardwoods and managed as a natural area. Click here to find our more information.

My visit

Tracy accompanied me during this hike. I am leery of going to new places by myself. There are too many crazy people out there! We were both very tired of sitting at home staring at the TV. The weather this week was pretty crappy. The weather during our visit was cool, but we dressed accordingly. I was hoping that the cooler and cloudy weather would keep people away from the trail. I think it did for the most part because we only seen four other people. Partly cloudy days make for better photographs.

The Bluffs of Beaver Bend Nature Preserve has a small parking lot. The lot is next to the White River. In order to get to the trail, just walk along the gravel road until you see the Nubbin Ridge Trail sign. The trail is a loop and will return you to the gravel road. The trail is in good shape and is well marked with orange flags. It is 2.7 miles long, but we took some detours, so my iPhone registered 3 miles.

The trail takes you up the sandstone bluffs, then parallels the bluff along the river before turning into the forest. The Mayapples were blooming everywhere during our visit, but despite looking pretty hard, Tracy didn't find any mushrooms. I captured several different plants and wildflowers with my iPhone while he was hunting mushrooms! The trail took some ups and downs, but it was never too steep or dangerous. There was a couple of waterfalls. We had to leave the trail in order to see the larger waterfall. It wasn't too difficult to get to though. It is a very nice preserve, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys hiking. Click here to see all of my pics from the Bluffs of Beaver Bend Nature Preserve. Scroll down to see the pics and videos from our visit. 

Check out the Indiana Nature Preserve galleries by clicking here!

2020 Hike #12 Photo Slideshow

Front View of Waterfall (in slo-mo)

View from Behind the Waterfall (by Tracy)

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