Ropchan Wildlife Refuge Nature Preserve

Ropchan Wildlife Refuge Nature Preserve has a kettle lake, a stream, marshy areas, old fields, several kames, and upland forest. Indeed, the preserve seems to have a bit of nearly every habitat found in this region.


Cemetery Lake and its associated cemetery occupy much of the middle of the preserve, and a prominent stream or ditch that both feeds and drains the lake divides the property into roughly equal north and south halves.


Interstate 80 borders the southern edge of the preserve and the resulting noise can be continuous and annoying, while large and visually obtrusive buildings press against the northern boundary.


This preserve certainly isn’t my favorite in the region, but size and habitat variety make up for its shortcomings.


The sprawling and complex trail system is at least three miles long. Color-coded posts mark various paths, and though it likely won’t be apparent to you when you visit, the general layout is something like a large loop that circles the lake and cemetery, albeit with numerous side loops.

Puncheon Trail

My best advice is to wander around, take your time, and see what you find. While potentially confusing, the trail system is well-maintained and you shouldn’t get lost for long.


Steuben County. From Fremont, go south on State Road 827 for about a mile to a parking area on the east side of the road.

North 41 42.958 West 84 56.205
DeLorme 23:A10

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Nearby Natural Areas

Beechwood Nature Preserve
McClue Nature Preserve
Pokagon State Park
Wing Haven Nature Preserve


ACRES Land Trust
Habeck: Wild Indiana; Page 48
Indiana Department of Natural Resources
McPherson: Indiana Best Hikes; Page 14