Weiler - Leopold Nature Preserve




Location: From West Lafayette, travel south on South River Road, which later becomes Division Road. Follow until you come to the edge of Greenhill, then turn left and follow this road thruogh a pair of ninety-degree turns about a mile down the road; you'll continue on straight south until the road takes another ninety degree turn to the right, which you follow, and the nature preserve is on your left, with the parking lot down the road just before it jogs left again.

Description: I've stopped at this preserve several times over the last few years; when I last visited in the fall of 2004, I was amazed at the results of the Niches volunteers work on the site. There is a burgeoning prairie next to the parking lot, with plenty of big bluestem and other grasses beginning to take hold. This was an old farm field a few years back, full of invasive plants; now it is being gradually turned into a genuine Indiana prairie. I took the sinlge loop trail back through the rest of the preserve, and heard a sound I hadn't heard in quite a while; honeybees buzzing so loudly I thought I was next to a hive, but they were among the snakeroot, fleabane and asters, stocking up for the winter. The honeybee, of course, was in danger of disappearing a few years back from an imported mite that was wiping out hives left and right; here, they were so thick I hesitated to follow the trail, but they were intent on business. The back half of the very easy trail wanders through some savannah areas and open woodlands. This is an outstanding preserve, mainly created by human hands. I bow humbly to the folks at Niches.


Nearby Points of Interest: Fall Creek Gorge, Black Rock Barrens (which is connected with it at the parking lot, trail to the east), Portland Arch.  The parking lot also serves Kohnkes' Little Pine Valley.

Cautions: You're missing something if you haven't visited. Don't bug the bees.

Ownership: Niches



National Forest