Start receiving our award-winning magazine today!

Subscribe

Indiana

Moraine Nature Preserve


Why You Should Visit 

The Valparaiso Moraine is a phenomenon of sand, soil and gravel deposits which run from southern Wisconsin through northern Illinois and northwestern Indiana into west-central Michigan. The tract contains a combination of rolling hills, steep ridges, deep-wooded gorges, muck pockets, potholes and a natural kettle pond. Several Hoosier families in the area donated land and money for permanent protection of this peaceful preserve and surrounding areas.

Location

Porter County

Ecoregion

Great Lakes

Size

809 Acres

Dedicated

State Nature Preserve, 1971 & 1995

Owned & Managed By

The Nature Conservancy & Division of Nature Preserves

Partners 

DNR-Lake Michigan Coastal Program, Indiana Heritage Trust, North America Wetland Conservation Act, Indiana Natural Heritage Protection Campaign, Shirley Heinze Land Trust and University of Chicago

What The Nature Conservancy is Doing/has Done 

One of the few large, unfragmented blocks of forest left in Northwest Indiana, the Moraine Nature Preserve offers a valuable habitat to various plant and animal species as well as benefits the communities that surround it. Grown to more than 800 acres from its initial 160, The Nature Conservancy continues to find ways to protect this area from urban sprawl.

What to See: Plants and Animals

Old-growth remnants of oak-hickory forest, mesic beech-maple forest, and old farm fields reverting back to its natural wilderness are some of the ecosystems found in the Moraine Nature Preserve. As one of the few, large unfragmented blocks of forest left in northwest Indiana it is extremely valuable to nesting forest interior birds as well as migrating species. The forest floor is rich with wildflowers, particularly in the spring. Ponds and wetlands are used by many species of both rare and common wildlife. It isn't surprising to see local educators, students and researchers studying the vegetation and wildlife found here.

The easy to moderate terrain make for a pleasant hike through the preserve even though there are no established trails. Please take the time to read the Conservancy's Preserve Visitation Guidelines.

Directions

From Valparaiso, travel north on S.R. 49 to U.S. 6. Turn right (east) and continue approximately 0.5 mile to Calumet Avenue and turn right (south). Continue traveling to C.R. 750 N (Meska Road) and turn left. Travel roughly one mile to the end of the road and park at the bottom of the hill. Parking is limited; please be considerate of private property and the preserve when parking.

Discussion

Have you been to this preserve? Are you thinking of visiting? See what others are saying about their experiences and add your comments below.

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!

comments powered by Disqus



Read our guidelines on posting comments




Take a Photo, Win a Car!

You could win a new car when you explore nature this summer in Indiana.

Beaver-Lake-240x160

We’re Accountable

The Nature Conservancy makes careful use of your support.

More Ratings

x animal

Sign up for Nature eNews!

Sign Up for Nature e-News

Get our e-newsletter filled with eco-tips and info on the places you care about most.

Thank you for joining our online community!

We’ll be in touch soon with more Nature Conservancy news, updates and exciting stories.

Please leave this field empty

We respect your privacy. The Nature Conservancy will not sell, rent or exchange your e-mail address. Read our full privacy policy for more information. By submitting this form, you agree to the Nature.org terms of use.