The Hoosier Prairie hosts a surprising and stunning array of prairie plants and great ecological diversity amidst the industry of Northwest Indiana. The rolling topography and sandy soils create a variety of habitats that support more than 350 native species of plants, at least 43 of which are uncommon or rarely seen in the state.
State Nature Preserve, 1977
National Natural Landmark, 1977
Division of Nature Preserves & U.S. National Park Service
DNR-Lake Michigan Coastal Program, Indiana Heritage Trust, North America Wetland Conservation Act
The Nature Conservancy along with coalition of organizations worked hard to protect the land from 1976 through 2004. Around 2005, additional tracts of land were acquired and transferred to the Department of Natural Resources. The DNR continues stewardship work that will increase the ecological diversity of the preserve.
Rare habitats such as the dry black oak barrens, wetland pools and wet prairies are conserved at the Hoosier Prairie as well as over 350 native plants, 43 species being uncommon or rarely seen in Indiana. Plants like the white wild indigo, prairie parsley, Indian paintbrush and rose pogonia can be spotted among the tall Indian grass. Red-headed woodpeckers, Sedge wrens and eyed brown butterflies can also be observed along the prairie and savanna with unusual reptiles and amphibians supported by the wet prairie "potholes".
The easy terrain and developed trails make for a pleasant hike through the preserve.
From North U.S. 41, turn right (east) on Main Street toward Griffith. The parking lot is on the right side of the road after crossing Kennedy Avenue.