Take a Spring Road Trip with ACRES
Thanks to member and volunteer support, ACRES offers many places to explore throughout our region. Each preserve is unique, featuring diverse landscapes. If you’re looking for some new-to-you trails, why not make a day of it?
This road trip takes you to Noble County and focuses on spring ephemerals — those hardy plants that start early, braving late snows and freezing temperatures to stay ahead of the shade overhead trees will produce once late spring arrives. Since these early plants need to gain the attention of pollinators, they produce showy blooms throughout spring — the earliest starting in March! These blooms are a welcome site for hungry pollinators looking for their first meal of the year, and a welcome sight for those of us who walk through spring forests.
Edna W. Spurgeon Woodland Reserve
9478 N. 600 W., Ligonier, IN 46767
When ACRES acquired this forest in 1961, it contained trees 125+ years old. Today, more than 60 years later, the forest at Edna W. Spurgeon Woodland Reserve is approaching old-growth status. Before leaves obscure your view, your spring walk allows you to see the unique rolling hills (glacial kames), peer into the deep ravines and see across acres of large trees standing where they began their lives about 200 years ago. Spring wildflowers are abundant and diverse with different species showing up each week throughout spring.
987 N. Allen Chapel Road, Kendallville, IN 46755
Lonidaw provides one of ACRES best places to view trilliums. Several species of trillium in the preserve carpet the forest floor each year, usually peaking near the beginning of May. After walking through about a mile of white, red and pink trilliums, you’ll be treated to a bright yellow burst of petals from the marsh marigolds around Little Whitford Lake.
Nearby Points of Interest
Here are a couple fun stops to make while you’re in the area:
1205 Pleasant Point, Rome City, IN 46784
Discover Indiana author Gene Stratton-Porter’s source of literary inspiration at this historic site featuring 148 acres of gardens, woods, lake shore and newly restored wetlands and prairies. You can tour Stratton-Porter’s cabin on Sylvan Lake or enjoy a guided nature walk. Visit indianamuseum.org/historic-sites/gene-stratton-porter for hours and admission.
4319 W. US Hwy 6, Wawaka, IN 46794
This family-owned brewery is a great place to relax after a day of hiking. The brewery’s scratch kitchen serves up Colombian empanadas and brick-fired pizza. Guests must be at least 21 years of age. An outside space is pet friendly. Open Thursday–Sunday. Visit harrystuffbrewing.com for hours.
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This article originally appeared in the Spring 2022 ACRES Quarterly, mailed to members each season. The 20-page Quarterly features ACRES news, stories and events. You can subscribe by becoming an ACRES member with a donation of $20 or more. Click here to learn more!