52 Hikes in 52 Weeks: Hike 15, Olin Lake Nature Preserve

May 2, 2016

Parking available at CR 600 S and CR 125 E in LaGrange County, IN

What makes Olin Lake so unique?  At just over 100 acres, it is the largest lake in Indiana with a completely undeveloped shoreline.  The only boat access to the lake is through a channel from adjacent Oliver Lake.  You can hike the bordering woods and wetlands at the Olin Lake Nature Preserve.

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Much of the trail wanders through low, swampy woodland terrain.  There had been a large amount of rain in days leading up to our hike.  We found the trails a bit muddy and the creeks flowing steadily.  I was joined on this hike by regular herd member, Lyndy, who said the creeks were dry when she visited the prior week.  The rain not only filled the creeks but spurred an eruption of spring plants and wildflowers.  The trillium lined trail at the beginning of the hike was one of the most beautiful sections of trail I have ever been on!  It was like walking through a fairy tale.  The pictures do not even come close to doing it justice!

The trail was well maintained with helpful boardwalks and bridges.

While parts of the preserve had been logged in the 1960’s, we still found some huge, ancient trees.  It was wonderful to know that this area is now protected and will never be logged or developed!

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Eventually the loop brought us to Olin Lake.  A small, wood pier allowed us to get up close to the water.  So odd (and refreshing!) to see an Indiana lake without house after house lining the shoreline.

At only 1 1/2 miles, the trail did not last as long as we would have liked.  It is such a spectacular area, however, that I believe this will become an annual spring destination for me.  I’m thinking for the fall, I’ll visit the lake by kayak.  I can only imagine what the lake will look like completely surrounded by fall foliage!

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