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Indiana

Marsh Lake Complex


Why You Should Visit 

Glacial basin lakes surrounded by extensive wetlands can be found at the Marsh Lake Complex which is made up of the Marsh Lake Conservation Area, the Seven Sisters Lake Complex, Wing Haven Nature Preserve and several state-dedicated nature preserves. Plant communities are varied and include shrub swamp, forested fen and swamps, marsh and dry upland forest. Much is to be seen at this complex, including the 849- acre Marsh Lake, one of the last remaining undeveloped lakes in Steuben County. 

Location

Steuben County

Ecoregion

North Central Tillplain

Size

849 Acres (Marsh Lake)
264 Acres (Seven Sisters/Wind Haven)

Owned & Managed By

Indiana's Department of Natural Resources (Marsh Lake)
ACRES, Inc. (Wing Haven & Seven Sisters)

Partners 

Indiana Heritage Trust

What to See: Plants and Animals

Plant communities include shrub swamp, forested fen, forested swamp, marsh areas, dry mesic upland forest amongst the wetlands and glacial basin lakes. An extensive boreal-relict stand of tamaracks and yellow birches can also be found with an understory comprised of dwarf birch, Canada mayflower and starflower. White and small yellow lady's-slipper, showy lady's-slipper orchids, and the Massasauga rattlesnake all find refuge in the fens, swamps, sedge meadows and wetlands bordering Marsh Lake. More commonly seen species include skunk cabbage, marsh marigold, red maple and red-osier dogwood.

Seven Sisters Lake is comprised of seven kettle lakes connected by thin bands of emergent and sedge meadow vegetation communities. Surrounded by steeply sloped hills, this lake-filled valley forms one of the headwaters of the Lake Michigan watershed.

Cattails and bulrush marshes abound the edge of Marsh Lake. The almost 850-acre lake receives what Seven Sisters and other headwaters dish out. A variety of wetland communities thrive in the water-soaked, muck soils bordering the lake.

A little wetland depression, hillside prairie, and parts of the kettle lakes lie within the boundaries of three separate parcels of land collectively known as Wing Haven Nature Preserve. This preserve is owned and managed by the Fort Wayne-based land trust known as ACRES. The Marsh Lake Wetland Conservation Area and Nature Preserve are held in trust for the folks of Indiana by the Division of Fish and Division of Nature Preserves.

The often wet terrain has no existing trails to hike, but boating and canoeing are available. Hunting is also allowed on the preserve; please dress accordingly. 

For More Information

ACRES Land Trust

Directions

From Angola, travel west on U.S. 20 to I-69. Travel north on I-69 and continue to the Pokagon State Park exit (exit 154). Proceed north on West Road, which runs parallel to I-69, to Feather Valley Road and turn rights (east). Continue to C.R. 100 E. and turn left (north) to the designated parking area. These directions will take you to both Wing Haven and the boat launch - it's a great place to canoe! 

Discussion

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Add Your Comments

Time for you to join the discussion. Tell us about your experience at this preserve. What plants and animals did you see? When did you go? You can help others plan their visit when you share your thoughts. And thank you for visiting one of our nature preserves!

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