The siltstone glade that runs south of the Black Rock Barrens and adjacent to NICHES' Weiler-Leopold Nature Reserve may be the only example of this habitat in Indiana's north central region.
North Central Tillplain
State Nature Preserve, 2002
NICHES (Northern Citizens Helping Ecosystems Survive) Land Trust; gifted to NICHES by The Nature Conservancy of Indiana in 1999.
Indiana Heritage Trust & Division of Nature Preserves
NICHES is working on monitoring and removing exotic species and allowing a farmed field to revert back to its natural state. A burn plan is being developed in order to ensure natural growth.
Hickories and oaks share the forest floor with an understory different from those typical in the Central Tillplain forests. Plants such as wild indigo, ledge spikemoss, glade mellow, birdfoot violet and wild huckleberries create an unusual understory for the area. In some cases, plants common to the Barrens are rare nearby , or plants common in the area are unseen in the barrens.
Visit in the spring when the lower areas are covered in sessile trilliums, blue pholx and large, showy colonies of wild hyacinth. Sightings of rare Cerulean Warblers and Bald Eagles have been recorded in this lovely wooded area.
A moderate to rugged trail is open and the property shares a parking lot with the NICHES Weiler-Leopold Nature Reserve which is available for hiking as well. Restrooms, trash receptacles and picnic facilities can be found in nearby Cicott Park just 3.2 miles to the west, just east of the riverfront town of Independence.
For More Information
Visit the NICHES Land Trust
From the town of Independence in Warren County (northeast of Attica) take River Road east from the stop sign by the bridge over the Wabash. Go 3.3 miles. A parking lot and signs for Black Rock Barrens are on your right.