Spurgeon is the first property acquired by ACRES Land Trust, way back in 1961. It comprises 65 acres of mature, relatively undisturbed, beech-maple forest, traversed by a long-stemmed lollipop trail with a side loop. According to ACRES, the preserve is home to Indiana’s second-largest tulip poplar. USGS maps designate the area as The Knobs; this name comes from the glacially shaped terrain that contains numerous rather abrupt mounds as well as several wet areas. Large stones lie scattered about; these glacial erratics came from the far north with the glaciers and were left behind when the ice melted. There are a few numbered concrete markers, but I’ve never seen a guide that explains what they signify.
Spring brings migrant songbirds to join the resident species and an excellent mix of wildflowers, including toadshade, bishop’s cap, long-spurred violet, jack-in-the-pulpit, and blue cohosh. However, once summer arrives and the trees leaf out, the understory is rather dark and can seem almost gloomy.
Directions: Noble County. From the intersection of US 6 and IN 5 in Ligonier, east 2.5 miles on U.S. 6, then north 2.2 miles on 600 West to the parking area on the right.
GPS: N 41 29.310 W 85 32.323