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. 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.
Owned & Managed By
Save the Dunes
What The Nature Conservancy is Doing/has Done
Restoration and maintenance of Trail Fen Creek includes 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 are works to restore degraded areas of the wetland and buffer upland habitat. The fen communities are also conservation concerns.
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. For more information, please read the Conservancy's Preserve Visitation Guidelines.
From the intersection of U.S. 421 and U.S. 20, travel east on U.S. 20 approximately 2.5 miles to Johnson Road and turn right. Continue roughly 0.4 mile to a gated drive on the left side of the road and park along the road without blocking the gate.