Sodalis Nature Park takes its name from the scientific name of the endangered Indiana bat, Myotis sodalis. This is appropriate, as the park is part of a large parcel acquired to mitigate impacts to Indiana bat habitat from nearby road and airport-related construction projects. Indiana bats do indeed live here, along with many other animals and plants.
Though a relatively new addition to the list of Hendricks County natural areas, Sodalis is already seeing substantial use. Most visitors seem to stick close to the area around the pond, but there is a substantial trail network further west with some interesting features. Be sure to pause and check out the pool below the pond’s outfall. During dry periods, water snakes often hunt the fish trapped here, darting out from the rocks that border the pool to grab a meal.
Most of the property is wooded. Many of the trees are relatively young, especially toward the east, but there are mature trees toward the northwest, and the relatively undisturbed nature of that area means there is a healthy population of spring wildflowers. The south-central area is more open, with a scrubby aspect that some might not find appealing. But the different habitat supports a different species mix. For example, this is a reliable spot for prairie warblers in the spring.
Directions: Hendricks County. From I-70 Exit 66, south on IN 267 for about a mile. As IN 267 curves sharply west, turn left onto 750 South. 750 West tees after 1.2 miles. Turn right onto 975 East and go a quarter mile to the parking lot on the right.
GPS: N 39 38.991 W 86 20.934
Facilities: Picnic area, fishing pier