Harrison County is rivaled in plant diversity by only one other county in the state, Lake County at Indiana’s northernmost boundary with Lake Michigan. All told, Harrison County is home to 91 rare plant species and 138 rare animals, half of which are cave dwelling creatures. Many residents are surprised to learn what is in their own backyards, which is why the Rabbit Hash Trail was developed near Elizabeth to showcase some of the natural features unique to the area.
The Rabbit Hash Trail extends approximately 2.5 miles from Rabbit Hash Road to Lamb Ridge Road. The 445-acre Rabbit Hash Preserve is owned and managed by the Nature Conservancy along with a 58-acre conservation easement donated by the Tom Ewbank family. This preserve is buffered by an additional 450 forested acres that are managed by the Forest Bank, a forest conservation tool designed for private landowners. The Rabbit Hash Trail covers a portion of the larger Harrison County Glades, part of a large forested landscape that the Nature Conservancy is protecting. Glades are small, natural openings in the forest where prairie-like plants abound. Harrison County contains some of the best remaining examples of limestone glades in the region.
The trail interprets forest management while on the Ewbank-Bishop property and proceeds through the Rabbit Hash Glade Preserve. On the preserve, trail signs interpret oak-hickory forests and some of the animals of this forest type. The trail terminates on private property owned by Commission Ministries, who allowed this trail’s connection to Lamb’s Ridge Road. The Harrison County Community Foundation funded the trail signs while the Elizabeth and Lanesville Boy Scout Troops along with numerous Nature Conservancy volunteers installed the trail, signs and footbridges.
Interested in helping to maintain this trail? Please contact Cassie Hauswald at email@example.com for opportunities.December 12, 2012