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Hiking trail opens at Stoutsburg Savanna NP
Start Date: 9/29/2017
Event Description:
A new trail awaits hikers in northwest Indiana, one that explores a globally rare habitat called sand savanna.

The 1.5-mile long Dune and Prairie Trail at Stoutsburg Savanna Nature Preserve officially opened to the public this month. Stoutsburg Savanna is a 440-acre property near Wheatfield, in Jasper County, owned and managed by the DNR Division of Nature Preserves.

Stoutsburg NP is an example of high-quality sand savanna, a habitat once common in the Great Lakes and Kankakee region, but now rare due to land development. Sand savannas occur on extensive areas of sand deposits. They are notable for widely spaced oak trees with prairie grasses and plants growing beneath, giving them a park-like appearance.

The trail also passes through restored prairies, oak savannas, and sand dunes deposited by wind at the close of the Ice Age.

Funding partners in the acquisition of Stoutsburg included The Nature Conservancy, Shirley Heinze Land Trust and the Bicentennial Nature Trust.

The development of a trail at Stoutsburg NP is one way the DNR Division of Nature Preserves is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The Indiana Legislature passed the Nature Preserves Act in 1967, creating the division. The division preserves areas of unusual natural significance for the benefit of present and future generations.

There are nature preserves in 70 of Indiana’s 92 counties. There are 281 dedicated nature preserves in the state, protecting more than 52,000 acres. A dedicated nature preserve has the highest level of protection of any land in Indiana.

Ecologists with the DNR Division of Nature Preserves will manage the Stoutsburg habitat with prescribed fire.

To view all DNR news releases, please see
Contact Information:
Name: Tom Swinford
Phone: (317) 233-4849
State calendar entry type:
Press Release
State calendar entry category:
State calendar classification:
  • Residents
  • Visiting and Playing
  • Agency Name:
  • Natural Resources, Department of

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