Monthly Hiking Tours
The “warm” New Year’s Day created a light fog around Lieber State Recreation Area’s waterways, and there the “First Day Hike” participants enjoyed a fun three-mile walk with Putnam Parks & Pathways Education Committee Chair John Garner leading the way.
John is almost finished scheduling free, family-friendly hikes through the first half of 2023, and here is the current line-up of knowledgeable leaders in a variety of Putnam County venues.
February 11, 9 a.m.
DePauw Nature Park. Participants will meet in the parking lot and walk to the quarry. This Monthly Nature Hike will highlight the history of the quarry, its operations and the geologic history of the rocks there, including what lives in the quarry and the effect visitors can have when they visit. DePauw University staff will join in to share their interests and knowledge about this unique habitat.
March 11, Time TBA
DePauw Nature Park. Time TBD. Led by Kate and Tim Jedele, participants will check out hot spots for spring-breeding amphibians, focusing on finding some egg masses for everyone to see in the many spring ephemeral ponds in the park. The Nature Park is an ideal spot for frogs, toads and salamanders that all breed in spring.
April 8, 9 a.m.
Hall Woods. Participants will learn how to identify native spring ephemeral wildflowers and discover the connections between these unique plants and their environment. Ashley Adair, an organic agriculture specialist and wildflower enthusiast with Purdue Extension, will lead the hike. A Putnam County native, she has spent her professional career working in the Purdue Extension system, spreading the joy of spring ephemeral wildflowers.
April 15, 9 a.m.
Fern Cliff Nature Preserve. April will include a second Nature Hike, this one led by Mike Homoya. Mike served as botanist/plant ecologist for the division of Natural Preserves, Indiana Department of Natural Resources from 1982 until retirement. He is the author of Orchids of Indiana, Wildflowers and Ferns of Indiana Forests and coauthor of Wake Up Woods. He also served as president of the Indiana Native Plant Society. “Throughout the growing season, there are plants of almost every size, shape and color. Look and you will see,” he wrote. Mike will share his knowledge of spring wildflowers and ferns.
May 13, 9 a.m.
Fern Station Nature Preserve. Cliff Chapman, executive director of the Central Indiana Land Trust, will lead this Nature Hike through what will become Putnam County’s newest nature preserve in 2023, the 570-acre Fern Station Nature Preserve. For years, Cliff worked as an ecologist for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Nature Preserves and also The Nature Conservancy in Olympia, Washington. He is the former president of the Natural Areas Association and the Indiana Land Protection Alliance and is a recognized hiker and bird-watcher.
PUTNAM PARKS & PATHWAYS
12 WEST WASHINGTON STREET, GREENCASTLE, IN, 46135