What to See: Plants and Animals
Plant communities include shrub swamp, forested fen, forested swamp, marsh areas, dry-mesic upland forest amongst the wetlands and glacial basin lakes. An extensive boreal-relict stand of tamaracks and yellow birches can also be found with an understory comprised of dwarf birch, Canada mayflower, and starflower. White and small yellow lady's-slipper, showy lady's-slipper orchids, and the Massasauga rattlesnake all find refuge in the fens, swamps, sedge meadows and wetlands bordering Marsh Lake. More commonly seen species include skunk cabbage, marsh marigold, red maple, and red-osier dogwood.
Seven Sisters Lake is comprised of seven kettle lakes connected by thin bands of emergent and sedge meadow vegetation communities. Surrounded by steeply sloped hills, this lake-filled valley forms one of the headwaters of the Lake Michigan watershed.
Cattails and bulrush marshes abound the edge of Marsh Lake. The almost 850-acre lake receives what Seven Sisters and other headwaters dish out. A variety of wetland communities thrive in the water-soaked, muck soils bordering the lake.
A little wetland depression, hillside prairie, and parts of the kettle lakes lie within the boundaries of three separate parcels of land collectively known as Wing Haven Nature Preserve. This preserve is owned and managed by the Fort Wayne-based land trust known as ACRES. The Marsh Lake Wetland Conservation Area and Nature Preserve are held in trust for the folks of Indiana by the Division of Fish and Division of Nature Preserves.
The often wet terrain has no existing trails to hike, but boating and canoeing are available. Hunting is also allowed on the preserve; please dress accordingly.
For More Information
ACRES Land Trust