Sycamore Land Trust acquired the Columbia Mine Preserve in 2012; it occupies more than a thousand acres. As the name suggests, part of the property is a reclaimed coal mine, now home to a series of lakes and large meadows. It also connects previously separated portions of the Patoka National Wildlife Refuge, thus helping to create a significant contiguous block of habitat. I donít know what to think of this place. On my last visit it was visually striking but eerily quiet. There was a large beaver lodge on the shore of one of the lakes but otherwise things seemed almost too perfect, as if life hadnít fully returned. On the other hand, those who know better than me report bobcat and river otter, among other exciting finds. So I expect great things when next I return.
TRAIL MAP (Click to enlarge)