Coneflowers at Teeple Glade, part of the Harrison County Glades in southern Indiana.
Harrison County Glades Coneflowers at Teeple Glade, part of the Harrison County Glades in southern Indiana. © Christopher Jordan

Places We Protect

Harrison County Glades.

Indiana

A scenic and colorful forested valley with a waterfall, glades and abundant wildlife.

Why You Should Visit

The Harrison County Glades—which include Buena Vista Glade, Teeple Glade, Mosquito Creek and Klinstiver Glade—are nestled in the wooded bluffs and ridges of Southern Indiana. This natural community is defined by the limestone bedrock that underpins the entire area and occasionally erupts onto the surface at the glades, splintered by freezing and thawing. These openings are often filled with sun, but lack on soil and water, making it difficult for trees to take root and survive. However, some of Indiana's oldest trees, well over a century in age but only a foot thick, can be found where the forest meets the glade.

Dedicated

State Nature Preserve in 1988 (Teeple Glade), 1992 (Mosquito Creek)

Partners

Indiana Heritage Trust & Division of Nature Preserves

What The Nature Conservancy is Doing/has Done

Fire suppression is the largest threat to a glade, for without the element the glade will lose its native species to a mix of red cedar and eastern redbud. Not only will fire maintain the open feel of a glade, but it will also allow the native oak species to regenerate. Therefore, the Conservancy and its partners utilize prescribed burns to improve and maintain the glades the way they would want to naturally. Cave communities, streams, forest interior breeding birds and endangered species such as the Indiana bat and Allegheny woodrat are other conservation concerns.

What to See: Plants and Animals

Harrison County Glades and the surrounding forested valley boast waterfalls, interesting flora and abundant wildlife. While trees do poorly in the glades, plants usually found in prairies thrive. Little bluestem and big bluestem grasses, Indian grass and hoary puccoon are found here. Other plants you may cross include the axe-shaped St. John's-wort, black-stem spleenwort, crested coralroot, devil's bit, Eastern milk-pea, false aloe and glade heliotrope, among others. The rare Hooded Warblers, rough green snake and eastern spadefoot toad find a home in the glades. Copperheads also like the area as it is ideal for sunning on warm summer afternoons. State-endangered Indiana bats and Allegheny woodrat rely on the glades as well.

Teeple Glade in the late spring and early summer is not to be missed. A profusion of pale purple cone flowers and bright yellow crownbeard cover the glade in a blanket of color.

Mosquito Creek Preserve and Klinstiver Glade is found between Louisville, Kentucky (to the east) and Corydon, Indiana (to the west). The creek winds between the the wooded hills of southern Indiana before emptying into the Ohio River near New Boston. Visit the area in the spring, when splashes of color from yellow trout lilies, lavender wild geranium, blue and white dwarf larkspur and blue phlox can be spotted. Although they may be sparse in number, they stand out at the bases of trees and in the shade of stone outcroppings. Two water mill ruins lie along Mosquito Creek within the preserve. Swaths of ferns, a small waterfall and Virginia bluebells may be evident while exploring the mill ruins, depending on when you visit this pretty preserve.

A special note: A significant portion of the preserve has been formally dedicated as Sally Reahard Woods at Mosquito Creek, in honor of Miss Sally Reahard, a woman who in her lifetime enabled The Nature Conservancy's Indiana Chapter to achieve so much across the state.

The rugged terrain can be trouble when venturing to Mosquito Creek where no trails have been established, but certainly an adventure can be had if properly prepared with a compass. There is a trail at Teeple Glade, but please be cautious of the plants and animals that may be underfoot. Check out the Conservancy's Preserve Visitation Guidelines for information regarding your visit to these glades.

For More Information

Indiana Division of Nature Preserves