It warmed our hearts to see people out enjoying our nature preserves in our inaugural Trek our Trails Challenge last year. This year, there are a few more trails to trek, and the challenge continues! We’ve expanded from five preserves to six, and extended a trail at one of our most beautiful preserves.
Preserves included in the challenge are the original five: Burnett Woods, Meltzer Woods, the Laura Hare Preserve at Blossom Hollow, Nonie Werbe Krauss Nature Preserve, and the Fred and Dorothy Meyer Nature Preserve, with its extended trail. You can read a guest post about this preserve and its newly expanded hiking options here.
And as of this summer, the challenge also includes Oliver’s Woods!
If you haven’t yet visited Oliver’s Woods, be sure to get it on your list of places to explore. This urban preserve offers an oasis of nature in a heavily developed area along the White River. It features walking paths through the woods, an accessible trail, frontage along the White River, and a former homesite.
Carmel Creek runs through the property and feeds into the White River. Indy Parks manages the section of Oliver’s Woods east of Carmel Creek as Town Run Trail Park, while our team stewards the western side. Mountain biking is restricted to the east side of the property. When water levels are low, cyclists can walk their bikes (and hikers can also cross) over a low-water crossing to ford the creek.
A canoe launch, designed and built by Williams Creek, offers kayakers and canoeists a new access point to the White River.
The site is an important stopover for migratory birds. Birdwatchers during migration season might see a variety of warblers. Bald eagles often fly overhead, while great blue herons stalk the shallows of the creek. Several mammal species use the White River as a corridor. Deer, mink, muskrat, fox, groundhog, beaver and otter have been noted. We have trail cam footage of many of these and often feature them for Wildlife Wednesday on Instagram and Facebook.
To complete the challenge, simply visit the preserves and take a photo of you and your companions at the sign or trailhead. Email the photo to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please indicate whether we have permission to post it.
After you’ve visited these six sites, we will mail all trekkers in your party a CILTI pin and the #trekourtrails2022 sticker. We’ll also enter you into a drawing for CILTI logo gear.
The cutoff to enter this year is Dec. 31, 2022. Happy trekking!
Learn more about the challenge here.