Wing Haven Nature Preserve


Wing Haven Nature Preserve is a large ACRES preserve comprised of at least three disjunct parcels that protect or partially protect several members of the Seven Sisters, a small constellation of lakes in central Steuben County. The south-central portion of the middle parcel contains several buildings used by the resident caretakers. Expect nice wildflower displays in the early spring.


Sign

Interstate 69 is not far away and when the wind is from the west, highway noise is definitely audible. Nevertheless, this is an attractive and interesting destination.


Trails

There are nearly two miles of trail that explore parts of the middle parcel.

A trail leads north from the parking area along the edge between a meadow and a line of trees, then tees after entering the woods. Either way sends you along the Trillium Woods Trail; turn right to follow it through a ravine past a century-old log building (third image on left) that once served as the former owner’s art studio, or left to pass through a very nice upland woods.


Cabin

Whichever way you choose, plan to return via the path you skipped on the way in, as each offers a markedly different experience.

A spur trail to Little Gentian Lake departs from the northernmost point on the Trillium Woods Trail. The lake takes its name from the fringed gentian plants that occur here. Fringed gentian ranges up to three feet tall, and has narrow, longish leaves arranged opposite each other on the plant’s stems. There are generally several purple, four-part blossoms on each plant; they appear in the fall. A short dock extends into the lake (second image on left); the shore is undeveloped, which probably accounts for the very clear water.


Lake

Though not my favorite part of the preserve, trails to the south and east of the buildings traverse meadow areas along mown paths.


Directions

Steuben County. From I-69 Exit 154, go south 0.4 miles on State Road 127, then east 0.4 miles on 400 North to a marked lot on the north side of the road.

North 41 42.064 West 84 59.618
DeLorme 23 A/B:10


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Facilities

None.


Nearby Natural Areas

Beechwood Nature Preserve
Loon Lake Nature Preserve
McClue Nature Preserve
Pokagon State Park
Ropchan Wildlife Refuge Nature Preserve
Woodland Bog Nature Preserve


References

ACRES Land Trust
Bloom: Hiking Indiana; Page 53
Habeck: Wild Indiana; Page 46
Indiana Department of Natural Resources
McPherson: Indiana Best Hikes; Page 26
Nature Conservancy: Guide to Indiana Preserves; Page 144