Beechwood’s elaborate trail network is a series of joined loops with a short connecting segment to Pokagon State Park and longer side trails to two adjacent, smaller preserves. The spur to Foster Nature Preserve heads north from a junction close to the parking area and after crossing Lane 150 passes through interesting wetland areas before ending up near Little Otter Lake; yellow warblers nest here. If pressed for time, skip the less compelling spur to the Majneri Preserve; it ends near a steep drop-off well short of Little Otter Lake.
The main loops pass through woods, meadows, and along forest edges; boardwalks traverse wetter areas in the southeastern portion of the preserve. My last visit revealed evidence of controlled burns and heroic efforts at invasive species control, so while there are better places in this part of the state for wildflowers, that may change with time. For now, the habitat variety makes it a good stop for birders, who should be able to spot numerous species here. I’ve even seen sandhill cranes feeding in the wetland areas.
Directions: Steuben County. From I-69 Exit 354, proceed west 0.2 miles on IN 727, then right ¾ mile on IN 127 to Lane 150; turn left and pull off to the left.
GPS: N 41 43.044 W 85 00.224