Start the morning early in downtown Spencer. Local vegetables, crafts and other treats abound at the Saturday Farmer’s Market. Stop in for breakfast and coffee at Main Street Coffee or the Spencer Coffee House on the town square. Then make your way to Green’s Bluff Nature Preserve.
Wildflowers, Ferns and Beautiful Views
The trail from the small parking lot leads into a mesic upland forest. Steep ravines along the trail highlight the rich woodlands. Indiana is the home to 80 species of ferns. Eastern hemlock trees, uncommon Indiana relics of the glacial age, grow on north-facing slopes along sandstone bluffs.
Raccoon Creek meanders through a floodplain forest below the bluffs. A stunning display of wildflowers and ferns line the trail along the creek. The preserve is home to numerous amphibians and reptiles, birds and wildlife, as well as a great blue heron rookery. Remnants of a mid-1800s grist mill can still be seen along the creek.
The trail is rugged. Keep your eyes and ears open for the Wood Thrush and the Red-eyed Vireo. For a splendid classic Indiana outdoor experience, put this 563-acre property on your bucket list!
A Nature Partnership
Several organizations work together to protect the rare species and special habitat of the preserve. The partnership includes the Indiana DNR Division of Nature Preserves, The Nature Conservancy and the Indiana Heritage Trust. Check the Department of Natural Resources website for guided hikes at unique properties like this one.