Loblolly Marsh Nature Preserve
This 400+ acre DNR property became Indiana’s 250th state dedicated nature preserve in 2012. According to DNR, it was once the heart of the great Limberlost Swamp, made famous by the writer Gene Stratton Porter, who lived nearby for a time. The Limberlost was drained for farming in the late 1800s and early 1900s, but this preserve is undergoing restoration.
An accessible path proceeds about a quarter mile west of the parking area and provides access to a prairie-like area with blue vervain, partridge pea, rattlesnake master, other prairie wildflowers, and prairie grasses. Most of the remaining trails are mowed, save those through wooded areas which are standard footpaths. I found the mowed paths occasionally ambiguous; was I on an “official” trail or a passage mowed for access or maintenance purposes? Bear that in mind if you use the trail sketch below. There are several ponds or seasonally wet areas, including seasonally soggy trails, as well as some drier wooded upland segments. There’s also a short tree ID trail, though it loops a pavilion and maintenance shed.
TRAIL MAP (Click to enlarge)