Nowhere else in the state can outdoor enthusiasts find a waterway as large as Olin Lake with barely a hint of human intervention and development. The crystal clear waters are surrounded by trees and dense vegetation, with tamaracks turning the landscape a smoky gold in the autumn months. Come spring, the forest floor is painted with splashes of color by native wildflowers. Whether hiking the 1.5 miles of walking trails or launching your canoe down nearby Oliver Lake, this natural area is a sight to see.
North Central Tillplain
State Nature Preserve, 1975-6 and 1989
Division of Nature Preserves
ACRES Land Trust, Indiana Heritage Trust and Olin Lake Home Owners Association
The state-threatened early ladies' tresses and the rare alder buckthorn can be found around Olin Lake. Small, native population of the rare cisco - or lake herring -also inhabits the cool, deep waters. Please be careful of these sensitive species while walking around or boating in Olin Lake.
Tamarack and yellow birch grow along the low, marshy border with other uncommon plants such as winterberry, poison sumac, buttonbush and dwarf birch. Aquatic vegetation is sparse because he lake bottom is covered with marl, a white calcerous substance precipitated from the water. Near the south shore is a swampy, hourglass-shaped island. Large specimens of sugar maple, beech, hackberry and red oak can be found on the upland portion of the southeast shore.
Wildflowers begin to cover the forest floor in early spring. Skunk cabbage shows itself first, and abounds in the low, mucky spots. Trout lilies, Dutchman's breeches, celadine poppies and Jack-in-the-pulpit paint the forest floor. State-threatened early ladies; tresses and the rare alder buckthorn also occur on the property.
The lake is best seen by boat, but there are trails available for woodland hiking. One of these trails ends at the lake's edge for a beautiful scenic view. Boats may NOT be launched at the lake; public access is provided on nearby Oliver Lake with access to Olin Lake available through a connecting channel.
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.