Olin Lake Nature Preserve

Natural Areas: Olin Lake Nature Preserve

State Designated Nature Preserve [#38; 1975]

Olin Lake

Olin Lake. Click to enlarge

A long-stemmed figure eight trail leads east from the parking area and explores the woods just south of the largest undeveloped lake in Indiana. Upland portions are rich with large-flowered trillium and other spring wildflowers. Thick stands of skunk cabbage will cover most of the lower, wetter spots as the year advances. Because large areas adjacent to the lake are wet, most of the trail stays well away from the water’s edge. However, a short spur extends to the shrubby shoreline over a rather wobbly collection of boards that may help keep your feet dry.

Tamarack at Olin Lake

Tamarack at Olin Lake. Click to enlarge

The water is remarkably clear. Over the years, calcium precipitating from the lake’s water formed a white substance called marl that now coats the bottom of the lake. Marl is a mixture of calcium carbonate, clays, and sediments that inhibits the growth of many aquatic plant species; the lack of vegetation and its decay products is a major reason why the water is so clear. You may see a boat or two, as a short channel connects Olin Lake to the larger (and developed) Oliver Lake, but generally the prospect is undisturbed by motors, people, or buildings. Indiana’s lake country has many natural attractions, but this is among the best.

Trail Map

trail map

Click to enlarge


Lagrange County. From Wolcottville, north 2.0 miles on State Road 9, then left 1.75 miles on 600 South until it ends in a “T” at 125E, then right on 125E one half mile to parking on the right.

GPS: N 41 33.718 W 85 24.038



Finder Sketch

Click to enlarge

Nearby Natural Areas (miles)

Maplewood Nature Preserve (8.8)
Spurgeon Woodland Reserve (12.6)
Pine Knob County Park (14.5)
Lonidaw Nature Preserve (16)
Bender Nature Preserve (18.8)