Hall Woods Nature Preserve


Hall Woods Nature Preserve features a lollipop trail through mature woods, well-populated in the warmer months by wildflowers, ferns, and songbirds, and offering access to Big Walnut Creek, one of the highest-quality streams in the state.


Big Walnut Creek

This preserve forms, along with Fortune Woods and a number of other holdings, a complex of protected land along Big Walnut Creek that encompasses several thousand acres.


Trails

A mowed path leads from the parking area, skirting the yard of the house next door. On entering the tree line and passing a registry box, the trail veers right, following the top of a ridge.

When you encounter a post that marks the start of the loop, continue straight. The trees here – maple and white oak prominent among them – begin to get larger.

The path descends gradually as you go, eventually passing a small and enigmatic but well-maintained cabin on the left, before heading down a wooden staircase to the confluence of Big Walnut Creek and one of its minor tributaries.

Explore the shore line, or just relax and take in the ambience. The path turns and heads upstream through floodplain forest; be sure to look for the bright red, five-part blossoms of fire pink along here, and early spring visitors will be hard-pressed to miss the large stand of Virginia bluebell.

Sycamores towering overhead and a series of riffles in the creek add interest to the setting.

Spring also marks the return of migratory birds to the woods. Cerulean and yellow-throated warblers call from the tree tops, with northern parula warblers closer to Big Walnut Creek and worm-eating warblers holding forth in the ravines.

You’ll climb a set of stairs and then follow the footpath as it ascends gradually toward the top of a ridge, meandering slowly through abundant broad beech, fragile, and maidenhair ferns toward its crest.

Once you reach a bluff that overlooks the valley of a small stream, the will trail angle left and return to the beginning of the loop.


Directions

Putnam County. From the stop light in Bainbridge, go east 1.0 mile on US 36 to CR 300E, then right 0.5 miles to a parking area on the left.

North 39 45.361 West 86 47.237
DeLorme 43:A12


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Facilities

None.


Nearby Natural Areas

Fern Cliff Nature Preserve
Fortune Woods


References

Habeck: Wild Indiana; Page 78
Indiana Department of Natural Resources
McPherson: Indiana Best Hikes; Page 260
Nature Conservancy: Guide to Indiana Preserves; Page 100