Greens Bluff Nature Preserve
Green's Bluff Nature Preserve is an attractive preserve, and several land purchases over the years have increased its size substantially.
Iíve visited many times over the years and have never been able to avoid the company of one or more friendly neighborhood dogs. They don't care that I'm a cat person, and are always delighted to see me and insist on accompanying me on my walks.
Greenís Bluff features a long-stemmed lollipop trail that passes through a dense hemlock stand, traverses the base of a fern-encrusted bluff, and skirts the banks of Raccoon Creek. The entrance path runs along an old and sometimes muddy road, following a ridge line with only modest elevation changes, though drop-offs to either side are often pronounced.
After several hundred yards, a sign will direct you to the right. This is the beginning of the terminal loop. The trail winds through woods of mostly maple and oak, then angles left at a bench and information sign before heading rather steeply into the creek valley. Northern hemlock trees grow on the sheltered slopes, protected from direct sunlight; this helps them survive here, far south of their usual range.
On emerging from the hemlock stand, youíll pass along the base of a rock outcrop. Hay-scented ferns, which smell of new-mown hay and are somewhat sticky to the touch, grow here on the rock face. Seeps far above drip water onto rocks, ferns, and travelers alike.
After leaving the bluff, the trail descends even further through rich woods dotted with fire pink and May apple, eventually approaching Raccoon Creek and the low ruins of an abandoned mill. At this point, the trail turns left and begins an ascent along another old road, eventually returning to the entrance trail.
Owen County. From the intersection of Sherfield Road and IN 43, go west 1.0 mile on Sherfield, and then left 0.4 miles on 75E/Heddings Road to the dead end, just past the cemetery. Sherfield Road is 4.9 miles south of the IN 43/IN 46 intersection, and 5.8 miles north of the IN 43/IN 48 intersection.
North 39 12.559 West 86 45.423
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Nearby Natural Areas
Habeck: Wild Indiana; Page 103
Indiana Department of Natural Resources
McPherson: Indiana Best Hikes; Page 353
McPherson: Nature Walks in Southern Indiana; Page 208
Nature Conservancy: Guide to Indiana Preserves; Page 90