Though more like a glacial basin or shallow depression rather than a permanent pond, Pipewort Pond Nature Preserve offers beautiful scenery in a serene atmosphere. The area is not only recognized as an important piece of Indiana's biological diversity puzzle, but also affectionately honors the late William L. Lieber for his long-time commitment to the protection of our state's natural resources.
North Central Tillplain
State Nature Preserve, 1986
There are several species of endangered plants at Pipewort Pond that are being protected including umbrella sedge, long-beaked baldrush, small bulrush and brown-fruited sedge.
When brimming with water, Pipewort Pond supports a lush growth of yellow pond lillies and other wetland plants. When waters recede in late summer, exposing an expansive shoreline of moist sand and peat muck flats, plants that are typically rare within our borders thrive. Robbins spikerush, dwarf umbrella-sedge, long-beaked baldrush, Carolina yellow-eyed grass and pipewort - for which the pond is named and appears as a million tiny, scattered hairpins on the water's surface - can be found in here even though they are more familiar to the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain states. Carnivorous plants - such as the pitcher plant and purple baldderwort - are also found in the more open shallow water. In the more coarsely vegetated boggy spots, you'll find large cranberry, winterberry and poison sumac.
As for animals, the site is very attractive to herons, ducks and shorebirds. Birdwatchers have spotted Sandhill Cranes fro the short boardwalk that takes visitors to the wetland edge. While march nesting species are found year round, the shifting water levels in the spring and fall bring a good number of migrating shorebirds and waterfowl.
A developed trail and boardwalk that leads to the wetland edge makes for an easy, pleasant stroll through the preserve. Keep a look out for poison sumac found throughout the area.
From Bristol, travel north on S.R. 15 across the St. Joseph River bridge. Shortly after crossing the bridge, turn into the road veering off toward the left. Follow this road to the Toll Road overpass and continue an additional 0.5 mile, turning left into a drive marked with a small white nature preserve sign. Park along the old farm lane.