White Oak Nature Preserve
Size: 143 acres
Ownership: Forestry - IDNR
Location and Access
From Henryville go north 0.9 mi. on U.S. 31, then turn left on the main forest road. Park in the picnic grounds on the right after crossing the I-65 overpass. The preserve is across the road (south) from the picnic grounds parking lot. A self-guiding nature trail leads through the preserve. A trail guide can also be obtained at the Forest Office building.
White Oak is the most important tree within this fine example of an oak-hickory forest. It also supports red, black, scarlet, post and chestnut oaks, along with pignut, shagbark and bitternut hickories. There are also scattered native Virginia pines.
Understory trees and shrubs include flowering dogwood, Juneberry, roundleaf greenbriar, Virginia creeper, and pasture rose. Dryland blueberry clumps indicate acid soil conditions.
The wildflower display varies with exposure and soil moisture. Dry sites have pussytoes, spring beauty, shooting star, orange hawkweed, phlox, firepink, bluets, and goats’ rue. Mesic (moist) sites have Jack-in-the-pulpit, wild ginger, wild geranium, mayapple, and jewelweed. Mesic sites are also rich in ferns.
Clark State Forest, PO Box 119, Henryville, IN 47126, 812-294-4306 or Division of Nature Preserves, 402 W. Washington St., Rm W267, Indianapolis, IN 46204, 317-232-4052.