Spicer Lake
Nature Preserve

Natural Areas: Spicer Lake Nature Preserve

State Designated Nature Preserve [#48; 1978]

Spicer Lake

Spicer Lake. Click to enlarge

Spicer Lake Nature Preserve features scenic glacial lakes and a sprawling trail network with long boardwalks. The trail system begins behind the main building and starts out as a paved path. Follow it downhill, then turn left to visit the extensive boardwalk system that skirts and at one point extends slightly over Spicer Lake on a viewing platform.


Boardwalk. Click to enlarge

Spicer Lake and nearby Lancaster Lake are kettle lakes, formed at the end of the last ice age. The lakes are now much smaller than when originally formed. In the millennia since the retreat of the glaciers, plants have steadily encroached on the edges of the lakes, and the remains of those plants are gradually filling in the lakes. Much of the boardwalk system crosses these filled-in areas, called kettle-hole swamp forest.

Lancaster Lake

Lancaster Lake. Click to enlarge

When you’re done exploring Spicer Lake, retrace your steps and follow the Wetlands Trail to Lancaster Lake, with wetlands to your left and rising ground to your right. A small dock extends into Lancaster Lake, an impossibly beautiful cattail-lined jewel. Consider returning via the Woodland Trail, which traverses higher ground on its way back to the main building. If you do this, expect to see (especially in the spring) plenty of wildflowers.

Trail Map

trail map

Click to enlarge


Saint Joseph County, just east of the La Porte County line. From U.S. 20, go north about 3.5 miles on County Line Road to the preserve entrance on the right.

GPS: N 41 45.196 W 86 31.456


Facilities: Bathrooms, water, shelter house, nature center

Finder Sketch

Click to enlarge

Nearby Natural Areas (miles)

Bendix Woods County Park (7.5)
Wintergreen Woods (13.1)
Ambler Flatwoods (17.1)