In addition to providing more than 70 miles of trails open dawn to dusk, ACRES offers a variety of hikes & events throughout our region, all year long.

ACRES events are held rain or shine, sleet or snow. We love sharing the natural world with you in all seasons.

SHARE THE TRAILS HIKE

Saturday, March 4, 10 am
STEUBEN COUNTY | Ropchan Wildlife Refuge
4990 N. SR 827, Fremont, IN 46737

Explore varied landscapes: forest, wetland and once-cultivated field in succession. Glaciers sculpted this country, creating rolling hills and gravel and sand kames, as well as a kettle-hole lake, Cemetery Lake. This is a natural sanctuary for birds, other wildlife and plants. A platform near the creek is used by visitors looking for ducks and other water birds, great blue herons, muskrats and beavers.

Bring your camera, your friends and your sense of adventure!

PRESERVE WORKDAY

Saturday, March 4, 10 am
WABASH COUNTY | Asherwood
7496 W. SR 124, Wabash, IN 46992

Sweet! You can help collect sap from our maple sugar bush!

Join us to help clear fallen limbs and debris from the trail and to collect sap for maple syrup making. If the trees are running, you can take turns helping to carry maple sugar water from the trees to the evaporator, learning about the maple syrup making process along the way. You’re sure to have an experience to remember on this unique workday.

We’ll provide a limited number of tools and work gloves. You’re encouraged to bring your own. This preserve has indoor restrooms.

The workday spirit is contagious: you might catch yourself laughing and telling tales with land lovers.

Hosted by Jason Kissel, executive director and Wabash caretaker.

TAI CHI FOR MEMBERS

Saturday, March 4, 2 pm
ALLEN COUNTY | Tom and Jane Dustin Nature Preserve
1802 Chapman Road, Huntertown, IN 46748

Tai chi calms the mind and helps build balance. What better place to relax and move like clouds and water? Join your fellow members for gentle movement. Practice seated or standing; all are welcome.

Instructor Pamela Steinbach studied with tai chi Master T.T. Liang and has taught in Fort Wayne since 1986.

Space is limited. RSVP to [email protected] or 260-637-2273. Hosted by Kelly Shepherd, outreach specialist

 Are you ready to become an ACRES member?

MAPLE SYRUP MAKING & PANCAKE BREAKFAST

Saturday, March 11, 9 am – noon
WASBASH COUNTY | Asherwood Environmental Center
7496 W. SR 124, Wabash, IN 46992

Mmmm! Maple syrup fresh from trees on protected land!

Join us for all-you-can-eat pancakes, sausage, and freshly made maple syrup plus a guided tour of the syrup making process. Bring your curiosity, your friends and your appetite.

This preserve offers an indoor restroom. No reservation required. $5 / person, children under 5 free.

Presented by Bill Harmsen, Asherwood caretaker and Jason Kissel, executive director.


SHARE THE TRAILS HIKE

Saturday, April 1, 10 am
ALLEN COUNTY | Blue Cast Springs
21412 Bluecast Road, Woodburn, IN 46797

Enjoy wildflowers along a flat hike to bluffs over the Maumee River.

Blue Cast Springs protects over 3,000 feet of the Maumee River bank and is the site of a natural spring once thought to have healthful properties. Bluffs 30-feet high offer vistas of the river, one of its islands and an active Great Blue Heron Rookery. Native Americans likely used these bluffs to overlook the river’s canoe traffic. A number of ravines running through the upland forest feed into the river.

Last April, in celebration of Indiana’s Bicentennial, volunteers helped to plant more than 20,000 native hardwood trees at Blue Cast Springs, reforesting 36 acres. Check on this new growth as you trek alongside the formerly farmed field into the established forest.

Bring your camera, your friends and your sense of adventure!

Local historian, Tom Castaldi shares some of Blue Cast Springs’ incredible history on our blog.

Read more Blue Cast Spring stories.


GEOMETREE

Saturday, April 15, 10 am
WABASH COUNTY | Mary Thornton Nature Preserve
1541 E. 300 N., Wabash, IN 46992

What’s so punny about measuring trees?

Learn several ways to measure a tree’s height and diameter—using specialized tools and simple geometry. Try your hand at the variety of methods and compare the resulting measurements.

Presented by the Kissel Family


CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: CALLING ALL TURKEYS– FOR MEMBERS

Saturday, April 22, 5:30 – 8:50 am or 5 – 8:30 pm
ALLEN COUNTY | Tom and Jane Dustin Nature Preserve
1802 Chapman Road, Huntertown, IN 46748

See wildlife up close!

Join us as Evan Hill, land management specialist, attempts to call turkeys to our location. Though we’ll be hidden in a blind, you will need to wear earth tones or camouflage to prevent scaring the big birds off. Turkeys have excellent eyesight. Hunkered down with your fellow ACRES members, huddled in quiet anticipation on a nature preserve, you’re sure to have an experience you won’t soon forget.

Bring your camera and your sense of adventure!

Space is limited. RSVP to either the morning or evening program at [email protected] or 260-637-2273.


28TH ANNUAL ADOPT-A-TREE FESTIVAL

Saturday, April 22, 10 am – 3 pm
STEUBEN COUNTY | Wing Haven
180 W 400 N, Angola, IN 46703

Celebrate protected land! Activities during this much-loved community celebration are for all ages: build a birdhouse, take home a tree, and enjoy dulcimer music and more.

Presented by long-time ACRES friends, Art Eberhardt and Jim Shearer.


“POTS AND POTLUCK” FOR MEMBERS

Thursday, April 27, 6 pm
ALLEN COUNTY | Tom and Jane Dustin Nature Preserve
1802 Chapman Road, Huntertown, IN 46748

Break bread and celebrate spring with fellow members!

This pot luck dinner features select readings from works of natural writers and a plant giveaway in honor of your membership. ACRES will provide the entrée; last names A-L please bring a side dish, and M-Z a dessert. We’ll discuss the readings and take home a native plant or tree.

Space is limited. RSVP to [email protected] or 260-637-2273.

Hosted by Theresa Ransbottom, ACRES volunteer


PRESERVE WORKDAY

Saturday, April 29, 10 am
NOBLE COUNTY | Detering Nature Preserve
1421 Kammerer Road, Kendallville, IN 46755

You can work the land with your own hands!

Help remove the non-native invasive Tree of Heaven and clean up trails in this Kendallville nature preserve located on Round Lake.

This was a “Green Grocer” farm where vegetables were grown and sold to the residents of Kendallville and the surrounding area. Now trees, including many redbuds, grow where corn and beans and other produce once grew. Round Lake forms a wetland boundary along the northeast part of the preserve. Plants include shrubby cinquefoil, red osier dogwood, cattails and sedges. Birds are as varied as the plants, and deer are frequently seen.

The workday spirit is contagious: you might catch yourself laughing and telling tales with land lovers.

We’ll provide a limited number of tools and work gloves. You’re encouraged to bring your own.

Hosted by Evan Hill, land management specialist.


WILDFLOWER HIKE FOR MEMBERS

Saturday, April 30, 2 pm
WABASCH COUNTY | Kokiwanee
5825 E. 50 S, Lagro, IN 46941

Kokiwanee delights with wildflowers and waterfalls!

Your hike leader, Dr. Dave Hicks, knows the much-loved hills of Kokiwanee well; he’s conducted our floristic inventories of this preserve. The former site of a Girls Scout camp, this land was previously farmed as recently as the 1940s and already today boasts an incredible diversity of wildflowers.  Discover Kokiwanee’s waterfalls and wildflowers and renew your satisfaction in helping to protect land.

Hosted by Dave Hicks. RSVP to [email protected] or 260-637-2273.


SHARE THE TRAILS HIKE

Saturday, May 6, 10 am
NOBLE COUNTY | Lonidaw
987 N. Allen Chapel Road, Kendallville, IN 46755

Trillium and a variety of ephemeral wildflowers blanket Lonidaw in the spring!

Lonidaw is a Native American name meaning “Spirit Queen of the Woods.” The wife of Potowatomi Chief Simon Pokagon bore the name. Beech and maple trees grow on the high ground; Sugar maple, red elm, walnut and hackberry stand on the lower ground.

Lonidaw boasts a diversity of spring wildflowers: wild columbine and celandine poppy on the higher ground, or the skunk cabbage and marsh marigold in the low wetland around the shore of Little Whitford, a five-acre kettle lake, or with the birds and other wildlife that are seen in this preserve.

Bring your camera, your friends and your sense of adventure!


WILDFLOWER & GEOLOGY HIKE FOR MEMBERS

Saturday, May 6, 3 – 5 pm
NOBLE COUNTY | Edna W. Spurgeon Woodland Reserve
9478 N. 600 W, Ligonier, IN 46767

The large, old trees, wonderful wildflowers and rolling geology of ACRES’ first nature preserve inspire!

Join your fellow land lovers to learn how Spurgeon’s rolling hills, called kames were created by glaciers. You’ll discover

15-25 species of wildflowers: such as 3 trillium species, Bishop’s cap, wild geranium, wild phlox, blue-eyed Mary, Jack-in-the-pulpit, wood poppy, 3-4 violet species and others.

Hosted by John J. Smith and Tony Fleming.

RSVP to [email protected] or 260-637-2273.


ALL AGES PRESERVE PLAY DAY

Sunday, May 7, 1 – 4 pm
ALLEN COUNTY | Tom and Jane Dustin Nature Preserve
1802 Chapman Road, Huntertown, IN 46748

Wanna play?

Gather friends and family and come see the preserve in new light. Create a nature journal, co-create temporary natural art, and share the trails on a guided play hike for all ages.

Bring the whole crew, leave your worries at home. We’ll provide simple, repeatable activities, as well as light refreshments and spectacular views from forever-protected land.


BOOK DISCUSSION

The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben

Monday, May 15, 6 – 7:30 pm
KOSCIUSKO COUNTY | Warsaw Community Public Library
310 East Main Street, Warsaw, IN 46580

People love trees.

Peter Wohlleben’s surprise international bestseller, “The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate — Discoveries from a Secret World” offers marvelous insight to the life of forests. Does Wohlleben’s writing impact your view of the preserves? Learn what other folks take away and share your own experience with this engaging book by a German forester.


PRESERVE WORKDAY- WAYNE TOWNSHIP PROPERTY

Saturday, May 20, 10 am
KOSCIUSKO COUNTY | Wayne Township Property
Just west of Eastlake Skating Center, 3010 Frontage Road, Warsaw, IN 46580

Help restore this extremely rare and closed-to-the-public prairie!

Help plant little bluestem plugs restoring this incredibly rare prairie, perhaps the easternmost example of original Midwest prairie grassland. In early December, workday volunteers cleared non-native invasive brush from the prairie site, making room for native prairie plants like little bluestem to thrive. This is your opportunity to be part of this site’s transformative restoration – and step foot on the closed preserve.

We’ll provide a limited number of tools and work gloves. You’re encouraged to bring your own.

Hosted by Casey Jones, land management director and Kosciusko County caretaker.

Learn more about ACRES saving and restoring the Wayne Township Property on our blog.

PRESERVE WORKDAY- ACRES GREAT AMERICAN CLEANUP – MENGERSON NATURE RESERVE

Saturday, May 20, 8 – 10 am
ALLEN COUNTY | Mengerson Nature Reserve
5895 Stellhorn Road, Fort Wayne, IN 46815

You can participate in a day of national pride and support local protected land. Help cleanup Mengerson Nature Reserve. We’ll remove garbage from this urban preserve. The City of Fort Wayne’s Great American Cleanup team will provide t-shirts in celebration of the American volunteer spirit. You must register to participate. RSVP by noon, May 19 to [email protected] or call 260-637-2273.

FOREST BATHING FOR MEMBERS

Tuesday, May 23, 6 pm
ALLEN COUNTY | Tom and Jane Dustin Nature Preserve
1802 Chapman Road, Huntertown, IN 46748

Spring clean your senses!

Come see what Forest Bathing is all about – no soap required. Join Christy Thomson, Indiana’s only certified forest therapist, for fun, simple activities to refresh your connection to the natural world.

Space is limited. RSVP to [email protected] or 260-637-2273.


WILDFLOWER & GEOLOGY HIKE FOR MEMBERS

Saturday, May 27, 3 – 5 pm
NOBLE COUNTY | Lloyd W. Bender Memorial Forest
1891 N. River Road W, Albion, IN 46701

Bender’s wet, diverse terrain is rich.

Here, you’ll find multiple habitats as well as wildflowers that you won’t see in many other ACRES preserves: American Columbo, Green Dragon, Yellow Water Butter Cup, Tufted Loosestrife, and American Gromwell. You’ll also see wildflowers that are common to other ACRES preserves.

Hosted by John J. Smith and Tony Fleming. RSVP to outreach@acreslandtrust.org or 260-637-2273.

SAVE THESE DATES!

Bird Blitz
Saturday, June 3

The Matchsellers Barn Concert
You won’t want to miss this fantastic folk duo!
Thursday, June 8, 6 – 8 pm

Volunteer Appreciation Dinner
Thursday, June 15, 6 – 8 pm

Summer Barn Concert for Members Only
Entertainment TBD- Instead of our Fall Barn Series, why not a summer evening in the barn?
Thursday, June 22, 6 – 8 pm

Annual Members Meeting & Picnic
Sunday, September 17, 1 – 4 pm

 

In addition to our public hikes & events, we also offer guided hikes and presentations to private groups. From youth groups, to senior clubs, we’d love to share the trails and our story with you and your group!