Meltzer Woods

Natural Areas: Meltzer Woods

National Natural Landmark [1973]

State Designated Nature Preserve [#272; 2016]

Large tree

One of Many. Click to enlarge

I can’t provide a better description of this National Natural Landmark than is found in Lindsey et al. (1970): “Although not the largest original forest stand in Indiana, Meltzer Woods is not surpassed as a museum-piece forest with particularly fine, large individual specimens.” Oaks, maples, and beech trees are particularly striking; with lots of pawpaw in the understory. The Meltzer family acquired the woods in the mid-19th Century, and these amazing trees remained under their care until 2014, when the Central Indiana Land Trust, with the help of many others, purchased the sixty-acre property.

The trail system consists of two connected short-stemmed lollipops that offer access to much of the property. Short boardwalks cross streams or wet areas. On my last visit the understory in part of the woods was badly overrun by wintercreeper, an invasive vine, but a substantial removal effort was clearly underway. Despite the suffocating mat of intertwined vines, there were quite a few spring wildflowers in evidence, and they will doubtless flourish once the wintercreeper is gone. Whether or not they will be able to compete with the trees for the attention of visitors is another question entirely.

Trail Map

trail map

Click to enlarge


Shelby County. From I-74 Exit 119, east 1.4 miles on IN 244, then left 0.5 mile on 600 East to a parking area on the right.

GPS: N 39 30.254 W 85 40.069



Finder Sketch

Click to enlarge

Nearby Natural Areas (miles)

No profiled areas within 20 miles