There is never a bad time to take to the woods, and this nature preserve in Owen County is exactly the outdoor adventure you’ve been looking for!
Green’s Bluff Nature Preserve is a true Indiana treasure.
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.
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!
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.
After your adventure at Green’s Bluff Nature Preserve, relax with a glass of wine at nearby Owen Valley Winery. Have lunch at one of the coffee shops, Chambers Smorgasbord or nearby Canyon Inn at McCormick’s Creek State Park. Walk around the square in Spencer and check out the unique and charming gift shops.
Even in the rain, beauty awaits in Indiana!
Firepinks and mosses (Photo: Joanna Suitors)
One of many cute boutique shops on the square
Green’s Bluff Trail Head
County Road 75 East, Spencer, IN
Owen Valley Winery
Timber Ridge Road, Spencer, IN