Ropchan Memorial Nature Preserve
Natural Areas: Ropchan Memorial Nature Preserve
Trail. Click to enlarge
Ropchan Memorial is an ACRES preserve that protects about eighty acres of classic lake country terrain. Thereís a kettle lake, a large wetland, glacial ridges, and scattered boulders dropped by the last glacier as it receded. Itís not far from here to Michigan, and the plant life reflects that proximity. There arenít many places like this in Indiana. The path tees soon after the parking area. To the left, descend briefly along the flank of a ridge and gradually work your way around the inside of a steep bowl with a kettle lake below. The path rises and falls before you climb a small hill and descend the other side of the mound toward another junction point.
Kettle Lake. Click to enlarge
From here, a long-stemmed lollipop leads to a bog. On the way out youíll skirt the northern edges of a large wetland. Tamarack and yellow birch grow here, both near the southern limit of their natural ranges. Exuberant colonies of cinnamon fern are everywhere, and there are occasional stands of royal fern. Return whence you came, then left at the junction to skirt the kettle lake you passed earlier before veering left to explore a peninsula that juts into a wetland. On rounding the peninsula tip, the trail climbs back toward the parking area.
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Lagrange County. From IN 120 X IN 327 in Orland, west 2.5 miles on IN 120 to 1100E, then north 2.6 miles to 800N; turn left. Continue west on 800N until it turns right into Michigan; go straight ahead on the lane to a small parking area on the left.
GPS: N 41 45.581 W 85 14.121
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