52 Hikes in 52 Weeks: Hike 11, Lonidaw Nature Preserve

April 13, 2016



I have been nursing a knee injury since February and it has certainly altered my hiking plans a bit.  My original plan was for no hikes under 2 miles but with the injury, I modified things for the time being.  The way I see it, short hikes are better than no hikes.  Sometimes, a short hike is all someone has time or energy for so spotlighting some of our hidden treasures seems like a good plan until I’m back to fully functional.  For years I have driven by this little 25 acre preserve that was donated by Isaac and Nora Lawson in 1979.  The trail is only a mile but it is a pretty mile that is just perfect for an after work hike.  Or in our case, a quick hike after shopping.  Today, my daughter joined me for a short jaunt.

The preserve is located on Allen Chapel Road just north of Kendallville, Indiana.  It is named after the wife of Potawatomi Chief Simon Pokagon.  Lonidaw means “Spirit of the Woods”.  The trails are well maintained and even have a bench that is perfect for taking in the serenity of the woods.

Signs of spring abounded with wildflowers blooming and trees leafing out.  The may-apples were starting to sprout up and the skunk cabbage was abundant in the low areas.  There were plenty of songbirds serenading us along the path.

In a couple places we saw evidence of the land’s past.  This area was once a homestead.  I can’t help but wonder about the people that used to call this area home.

The trail is mostly level although there is the occasional rise.  As we retraced our steps back to the parking area, we looked down on Little Whitford Lake.


As I have made an effort to find new places to hike in order to fulfill my goal of 52 hikes in 52 weeks, I’ve come to appreciate the Acres Preserves in our area.  While I have always supported them and their approach to land preservation, I haven’t fully appreciated the effort put in to maintaining the properties they manage.  While not huge areas by any means, the trails are very well maintained and the properties are quite beautiful.  I urge everyone to find a preserve near you and take a stroll.  I believe you will be pleasantly surprised!


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