Black Rock Barrens in Warren County
Black Rock Barrens Black Rock Barrens Nature Preserve in Warren County. © Jeff Ganley/NICHES

Places We Protect

Black Rock Barrens

Indiana

Siltstone glades, sandstone outcroppings and delicate wildflowers make these barrens unique.

Why You Should Visit 

The siltstone glade that runs south of the Black Rock Barrens and adjacent to NICHES' Weiler-Leopold Nature Reserve may be the only example of this habitat in Indiana's north central region. Located in Warren County, Black Rock Barrens is owned and managed by NICHES (Northern Citizens Helping Ecosystems Survive) Land Trust after being gifted to NICHES by The Nature Conservancy of Indiana in 1999 and was dedicated as a State Nature Preserve in 2002.

Conservation Efforts that been Done/are Targeted

NICHES is working on monitoring and removing exotic species and allowing a farmed field to revert back to its natural state. A burn plan is being developed in order to ensure natural growth.

Work done at the preserve is in partnership with Indiana Heritage Trust & Division of Nature Preserves.

What to See: Animals and Plants

Hickories and oaks share the forest floor with an understory different from those typical in the Central Tillplain forests. Plants such as wild indigo, ledge spikemoss, glade mellow,  birdfoot violet and wild huckleberries create an unusual understory for the area. In some cases, plants common to the Barrens are rare nearby, or plants common in the area are unseen in the barrens. 

Visit in the spring when the lower areas are covered in sessile trilliums, blue phlox and large, showy colonies of wild hyacinth. Sightings of rare Cerulean Warblers and Bald Eagles have been recorded in this lovely wooded area. 

A moderate to rugged trail is open and the property shares a parking lot with the NICHES Weiler-Leopold Nature Reserve which is available for hiking as well. Restrooms, trash receptacles, and picnic facilities can be found in nearby Cicott Park just 3.2 miles to the west, just east of the riverfront town of Independence.

For More Information

Visit the NICHES Land Trust