Why You Should Visit
The Brock Sampson and Hardin Ridge natural area in Floyd County offers rugged terrain with high ridge tops and steep slopes that give way to deep ravines. This preserve complex is part of the Knobstone Escarpment, a geologic region sometimes referred to as "the little mountains of Indiana." This nature preserve is found in Floyd County, famous for its "knobs" that escaped the leveling effect of glaciers. Here steep valleys dissect the land and the natural relief can be 450 feet or more. The knobs of Floyd County are one of the few places in Indiana where Virginia pine is native and it intermingles with chestnut oak on the ridge tops to yield a gnarled, weather-worn appearance to the high points of this landscape.
Brock Sampson was dedicated as a State Nature Preserve in 1989. Hardin Ridge was dedicated as the Sherman Minton Nature Preserve in 2011 to honor the late herpetologist, Dr. Sherman Minton, Jr., who was born and raised in New Albany and contributed immensely to our understanding of reptiles and amphibians in Indiana.
What The Nature Conservancy is Doing
The Conservancy, IDNR's Divisions of Nature Preserves (DNP) and Fish & Wildlife (DFW) cooperated to preserve and protect this vast natural area. While the Conservancy and the DNP are protecting the oak-covered ridges and scattered Virginia pine forests, the DFW has preserved a hunting area close to Louisville, Kentucky. Already one of the largest natural areas in Indiana, this partnership continues to add protected land to this 2,890-acre area. The Nature Conservancy uses our unique Forest Bank program at the site to manage forestland owned by the Floyd County Parks Department at the Campbell Woodland Nature Trails Park.
This work is done in partnership with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Fish & Wildlife, Floyd County Parks.