Natural Areas: Twin Swamps Nature Preserve
Cypress knees. Click to enlarge
Twin Swamps is a large, wet, wooded preserve that protects remnants of an ecosystem that once flourished in this part of the state. This is just about as far south and west as you can go while remaining in Indiana, so itís no surprise that the species mix is substantially different here than elsewhere in our state.
As the name suggests, the preserve includes two swamps, and a short-stemmed lollipop trail - about a mile long - gives hikers a taste of both. Pick up a brochure at the registry box and start down the path, which quickly enters the woods. Along the way, a series of small footbridges cross some of the wetter areas. Before long, a side branch goes off to the right; it leads to a boardwalk and small observation tower that allow closer inspection of a swamp dominated by bald cypress and swamp cottonwood trees, the latter with large heart-shaped leaves on long stems.
Preserve interior. Click to enlarge
After rejoining the main loop, turn right and continue to the second swamp. Overcup oak is the dominant tree here. They take their name from their acorns, nearly engulfed by the cups that hold them. You have an excellent chance of encountering one or more reptiles and/or amphibians, not to mention various biting insects. Watch your step and bring repellent.
Click to enlarge
Posey County. From the intersection of IN 62 and IN 69 west of Mount Vernon, go south 8.2 miles on IN 69 to Graddy Road, then right 1.4 miles to Raben Road (300W), and finally right 1.0 mile to the parking area on the left.
GPS: N 37 49.952 W 87 59.042
Click to enlarge
Nearby Natural Areas