Trail Creek Fen in LaPorte County
Trail Creek Fen Preserve in LaPorte County © Christopher Jordan/TNC

Places We Protect

Trail Creek Fen

Indiana

A fen community with more than 200 species of plants in Northwest Indiana.

Why You Should Visit 

Distinctive natural communities - like the raised graminoid fen and the sedge-covered wetland - make up the pretty and diversified Trail Creek Fen in LaPorte County. Even though the preserve is surrounded by houses and roads, the protected wetlands are undisturbed jewels and an excellent example of what was once common along the stream corridors of the southern Lake Michigan watershed.

What The Nature Conservancy is Doing/has Done

Restoration and maintenance of Trail Fen Creek include removal of excess woody growth from the preserve and prescribed burns to reintroduce the periodic fire that would have naturally taken place. Invasive species - like Dame's rocket, privet, garlic mustard, autumn olive, tree-of-heaven, phragmites, and reed canary grass - are constantly removed. Stewardship staff is working to restore degraded areas of the wetland and buffer upland habitat. The fen communities are also conservation concerns.

This preserve is owned and managed by Save the Dunes.

What to See: Plants and Animals

More than 200 plant species (four which are endangered or threatened in Indiana) occur in Trail Fen Creek. Dominated by grasses - including Indiana grass, fringed brome, and marsh Timothy - the fen is also covered plants like swamp goldenrod, blazing star and tall coreopsis. The forest is largely made up of tamarack and dwarf birch with the carnivorous pitcher plant in abundance.

Rare animal species are also to be found at the preserve. Yellow-spotted turtles and Baltimore checkerspot butterflies are just but two of these species. Importantly, the presence of both of these species allows us to believe that this site is an excellent example of a rate wetland community.

No trail exists on this modest and wet preserve; dress appropriately.