Bicentennial Woods Nature Preserve
ACRES Land Trust acquired Bicentennial Woods in 1994, on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of nearby Fort Wayne. It is one of many ACRES preserves in northern Allen County located in and around the Cedar Creek watershed.
The preserve comprises about 80 acres of varied habitat; the most outstanding features are the large trees, particularly oaks and sycamores. Some of the former have stood here for as many as 250 years, and Bloom (2000) states that the property contains what may be "...the last stand of virgin timber in the county".
As is typical with ACRES preserves, the trail network is rather elaborate and has expanded over the years. It presently totals about two and a half miles.
Willow Creek runs northeast through the property, heading toward a nearby confluence with Cedar Creek, and dividing both the preserve and the trail system into two parts.
The area north and west of Willow Creek is wooded; the trails here form a very rough figure eight, and in the process pass by the Arnold Oaks – perhaps the oldest trees in the preserve. Their name honors the previous owners of the woods, who did much to preserve them.
Massive Oak Tree
A footbridge spans Willow Creek near the eastern boundary of the preserve. From here, a series of interconnected loop trails explore various parts of the southern half of the property.
One trail follows an embankment above the creek toward the southwest, another shadows the creek from a distance, sticking to the top of a bluff, while still others explore open areas to the east or skirt a large wetland in the south central portion of the preserve.
The Cathedral Oaks, nearly two hundred years old, reside south of the creek, in the western half of the preserve; other species include hickories, sycamores, and maples. Wildflowers are excellent in season, with all the usual suspects – Dutchman’s breeches, bloodroot (below), prairie trillium, spring beauty, and cardinal flower well represented, among many others.
Allen County. From I-69 Exit 112, go north 7.8 miles on Coldwater Road/IN 327, then left ¼ mile on Shoaff to a parking area on the left.
North 41 15.032 West 85 08.372
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Nearby Natural Areas