2021 Roadtrip to Big Walnut Nature Preserve in Bainbridge Indiana on October 19th

My visit

Tracy and I have visited several nature preserves in Indiana. From our experience, they are the best places to hike! The state parks have become very crowded. The nature preserves are perfect for those who want to re-connect with nature. The Big Walnut Nature Preserve is one of those perfect places! The trail which runs through the preserve is called the Tall Timbers Trail. It is appropriately named because the trees that you will see along this trail are enormously tall! I am a tree fanatic. There is a small creek that has to be crossed multiple time along the trail, so bring some extra shoes and socks!  I will definitely be coming back again! There are actually two different trails within shouting distance of each other. We explored them both, but the Tall Timber Trail is the highlight of the trip! I also captured pics of a couple of covered bridges which are in the area as well. If you're interested in visiting this preserve, add the Rolling Stone Covered Bridge and the Pine Bluff Covered Bridge to your trip! Parke County may have the most Covered Bridges in the state, but Putnam County has quite a few as well!

General Info

(from https://www.nature.org/en-us/get-involved/how-to-help/places-we-protect/big-walnut/)

Big Walnut Preserve in Putnam County is a dazzling scenic area situated among the rolling hills and steep ravines of Big Walnut Creek Valley. Since being dedicated as a National Natural Landmark in 1985, the preserve has been co-managed by the Conservancy and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Nature Preserves (DNP). This successful partnership has protected more than 2,400 acres and has ensured the long-term viability of this biologically important natural area.

With beautiful, glacial-relic stands of eastern hemlock and Canada yew flourishing on cool, north-facing slopes, it’s no surprise that this area was designated as a national natural landmark in 1968. Exceptionally large trees, including the largest known hemlock trees in Indiana, are scattered across the preserve along with one of the few remaining stands of a beech, sugar maple, tulip, poplar climax forest growing in west-central Indiana.

Spring brings a carpet of wildflowers including spring beauties, anemones, Virginia bluebells, and large-flowered trilliums, and the emergence of cerulean, worm-eating and hooded warblers and great blue herons. The rare-plant seekers won't be disappointed at Big Walnut either; eastern hemlock, Canada hew, Clinton's woodfern, Goldie's fern, and bristly sarsaparilla—among other uncommon plants—can be found in this amazing preserve.

The Tall Timbers Trail is a 1.9-mile loop trail through a portion of the northern part of Big Walnut. It is a moderate hike, with 40+ stairs that traverse a steep ravine. Fortunately, a landing halfway up the stairs and a bench at the top provide resting areas. There are several small stream crossings, so prepare for wet feet. Parking for five vehicles is available at the trailhead.

Check out the Indiana Nature Preserves galleries by clicking here!

Check out the Indiana Bridge & Mills gallery by clicking here!

My 2021 Roadtrip Slideshow


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