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Overview

Hemlock Ridge Nature Preserve features a dramatic combination of upland forest and deep ravines carved by glaciers. Big Walnut Creek lies some 80 feet below the ridge. Crowning the bluffs are stands of Eastern hemlock, an Ice Age relic conifer surviving in Indiana on just a few bedrock bluffs. Hemlocks can live to be 800 years old and provide excellent habitat for wildlife.

Oaks, maples, black gum and other hardwoods turn colorful each fall, contrasting with the lacy evergreen branches. Former cropland on the property is being restored to native forest species, such as Northern red oak, black oak, burr oak, white oak, pawpaw, redbud and shagbark hickory.

Two sensitive plant species are found here: longstalk sedge (on Indiana’s watch list) and the state-rare Wolf’s bluegrass. A small creek valley flowing into Big Walnut Creek harbors a diverse mix of spring wildflowers, including a pretty stretch of Virginia bluebells.

History of the Property

Hemlock Ridge’s first 39 acres were acquired by Central Indiana Land Trust in 2004 with the help of the Herbert Simon Family Foundation, the Indiana Heritage Trust, DNR Division of Nature Preserves, Indianapolis Power and Light and The Nature Conservancy. We purchased an additional 10 acres at Hemlock Ridge in 2008.

Planning your Visit

This property is difficult to navigate. Please contact CILTI’s office before visiting for tips on hiking in the preserve.

To find Hemlock Ridge from Indianapolis, take Rockville Road (U.S. 36) west to the Hendricks-Putnam County line (a few miles past New Winchester). Turn right (north) on County Line Road. Stay on this road until reaching County Road 1100 North, then turn left. After a stop sign, 1100 North makes a jog south. Look for an angled gravel road coming in from the right. Turn right and follow it as it turns back into 1100 North. A grassy parking lot is located on the right side of the road.

Full Details
Assessibility Limited Access
Water Feature Views of Big Walnut Creek
Trails N/A
Parking A grassy parking lot is located on the right side of the road.

Directions

The property is located on 1100 North, Roachdale. From Indianapolis, take Rockville Road (U.S. 36) west to the Hendricks-Putnam County line (a few miles past New Winchester). Turn right (north) on County Line Road. Stay on this road until reaching County Road 1100 North, then turn left. After a stop sign, 1100 North makes a jog south. Look for an angled gravel road coming in from the right. Turn right and follow it as it turns back into 1100 North. A grassy parking lot is located on the right side of the road.

Google Maps Driving Directions

Current Weather

Overcast, 49°F
NE at 9 MPH