Oppenheim Woods is a 63-acre Nature Conservancy property located just north of Tippecanoe Lake. The Conservancy says this preserve is home to one of the most outstanding spring wildflower displays in the Midwest, and they would certainly know better than me. I can attest that it is prime habitat and that large-flowered trillium and many other spring wildflowers flourish here.
The trail system is basically a short-stemmed lollipop with a side trail. Proceed north from the parking lot. The “stem” portion can be rather muddy if it has rained recently, but it’s not long and you’ll soon reach the main loop. I find the loop part of the trail very pleasant – large trees, a thick herb layer and, aside from the birds calling overhead in season, blissfully quiet. Signs of civilization are mostly limited to farm fields occasionally visible to the east through gaps in the trees and brief glimpses of the golf course that lies to the north.
The side trail that heads west from the main loop rises gradually to a small concrete pad, apparently once the base of a gazebo, then descends into the valley of a small stream. An elaborate boardwalk allows limited exploration, though parts of it are clearly marked as off-limits. Stairs on the other side of the creek appear to ascend the valley wall and connect to houses perched above. Very nice overall.
Directions: Kosciusko County. From IN 15 in Leesburg, east on Van Buren, left after the RR tracks. This becomes Harper Rd, then veers E and becomes 700 N. Left at 300E, then right on 750N. 750N turns south, becoming 400E/ Kalorama. Continue 0.5 mile to the parking area on the left.
GPS: N 41 20.202 W 85 45.802