Branigin Nature Preserve

Natural Areas: Branigin Nature Preserve

Branigin was once the site of an Indiana University Alumni Association camp but is now a relatively recent addition to the portfolio of the Sycamore Land Trust. This remarkable preserve consists mostly of a peninsula that extends the better part of a mile into Monroe Lake. Presumably, it is a ridgeline whose flanks are now submerged by the reservoir. A footpath leads from the tiny parking area into nearby woods before merging onto an old lane that continues nearly to the end of the peninsula. At one point the peninsula becomes so narrow and low it seems likely that a rise of a few feet in the reservoir pool would transform the most distant part of the preserve into an island.

View of Monroe Lake from Branigin Nature Preserve

View of Monroe Lake. Click to enlarge

Expect several modest climbs and descents along the way, as well as excellent views of the lake. Spring wildflowers are good too, with dwarf larkspur and jack-in-the-pulpit along with many others. There’s nothing to slow the wind out there, so if it’s the least bit chilly and windy on the “mainland”, be prepared to wrap up before venturing out on the peninsula. Great fun, if you can find a parking spot.

Trail Map

trail map

Click to enlarge


Monroe County. From IN 46 X IN 446, south 7 miles on IN 446, then left on Rush Ridge Rd. Continue 1.2 miles, veering left at the fork, to the small parking area on the right. Don’t park elsewhere.

GPS: N 39 04.824 W 86 24.255



Finder Sketch

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Nearby Natural Areas (miles)

Deam Wilderness (10.5)
Scarlet Oak Woods (14.1)
Leonard Springs Nature Park (15.3)
Selma Steele Nature Preserve (17.1)
Yellowwood State Forest (18.6)
Cedar Bluffs Nature Preserve (19.2)