Leonard Springs Nature Park
Natural Areas: Leonard Springs Nature Park
Cascade. Click to enlarge
Leonard Springs packs a lot into its one-mile loop trail; you値l pass caves, springs, waterfalls, wetlands, and forest. Begin at the gate that blocks vehicular access to the gravel road at one end of the parking area. When the trail forks near a cave entrance, turn right and descend a set of metal stairs. The water that rushes forth from the spring cascades down a series of boulders and pools to your left. You値l pass another cave entrance; an observation platform allows closer inspection, but entry is forbidden.
Cave Entrance. Click to enlarge
Continue down the stairs. At the bottom, you値l shadow and then cross the stream while strolling along under mature trees. Eventually, you値l emerge next to an impoundment, where a small wooden platform affords views of the wetland and emergent vegetation. At one time the water was much deeper and served as an important supply for nearby Bloomington.
Former Reservoir. Click to enlarge
Continue to the southeast now, watching for a trail junction. Turn right to venture out onto the remains of the dam. Watch for fire pink in late May and early June. The middle of the dam is missing so you値l have to turn back and rejoin the main loop. The path soon begins ascending through a pinery, winding gradually back to close the loop near the top of the stairs, very close to a small sinkhole.
Click to enlarge
Monroe County. From I-69 Exit 115, west 0.6 on Fullerton Pike to Leonard Springs Rd, then left 0.5 miles to South Leonard Springs Rd, then left 0.2 miles to parking on the right.
GPS: N 39 07.159 W 86 35.502
Click to enlarge
Nearby Natural Areas