Ropchan Memorial Nature Preserve

Trail at Ropchan Memorial Nature Preserve

Ropchan Memorial is an ACRES preserve that protects about eighty acres of classic lake country terrain. There’s a kettle lake, a large wetland, glacial ridges, and scattered boulders dropped by the last glacier as it receded. It’s not far from here to Michigan, and the plant life reflects that proximity. There aren’t many places like this in Indiana. The path tees soon after the parking area. To the left, descend briefly along the flank of a ridge and gradually work your way around the inside of a steep bowl with a kettle lake below. The path rises and falls before you climb a small hill and descend the other side of the mound toward another junction point.

Glacial Pond at Ropchan Memorial Nature Preserve

From here, a long-stemmed lollipop leads to a bog. On the way out you’ll skirt the northern edges of a large wetland. Tamarack and yellow birch grow here, both near the southern limit of their natural ranges. Exuberant colonies of cinnamon fern are everywhere, and there are occasional stands of royal fern. Return whence you came, then left at the junction to skirt the kettle lake you passed earlier before veering left to explore a peninsula that juts into a wetland. On rounding the peninsula tip, the trail climbs back toward the parking area.

Trail Sketch

Directions: Steuben County. From Orland, go east 2.2 miles on State Road 120, then go north an eight of a mile on county road 750 West to the parking area on the right (east) side of the road.

GPS: N 41 44.496 W 85 07.949

Facilities: None

Google Maps