Maplewood Nature Preserve
Maplewood is a Lagrange County park that shares a seamless border with an ACRES nature preserve. The ACRES portion lies to the east; its southern end is home to tall oaks. The county-owned portion is to the west; large maples stand north and east of the small but striking nature center. The trail system covers both properties, and begins at the nature center. Main trails are gravel and comprise two joined figure eights. Secondary trails extend to the west but may or may not be evident depending on maintenance resources. Also depending on maintenance resources, another trail may or may not extend east from the northernmost loop, through the ACRES property to the banks of nearby Fly Creek.
As its name suggests, the preserve is heavily wooded and once the leaves are out it can seem a little dark in the interior. Seasonal (at least) wetlands dot the woods. Drier areas sport impressive springtime wildflower displays. Readily observable wildflowers include large-flowered trillium, bellwort, and blue cohosh. ACRES has documented putty root orchid, crane fly orchid, and green dragon as well. Birds abound, and a spring visit will likely reveal warblers, scarlet tanagers, and yellow-billed cuckoos calling from the canopy. Houses press close to the south and southeast, but civilization otherwise intrudes little.
TRAIL MAP (Click to enlarge)