This 30-acre property is a dedicated state nature preserve located in Michigan City. The mixed forest community is a rare urban example of old-growth forest. Among its inhabitants are white pine, red oak, white oak, sugar maple, red maple, witch hazel, partridge berry, and wintergreen. A hiking trail departs from the parking area in front of Barker House.
Indiana Department of Natural Resources, The Nature Conservancy, Barker Endowment Fund, Save the Dunes, Wildlife Habitat Council, U.S. Forest Service.
The old-growth forest at Barker Woods is a place for quiet contemplation amidst a busy urban environment. Walk its trail in spring. Enjoy the songs of migratory birds returning from their wintering grounds far to the south. Admire the flowering dogwood and shadbush in bloom. Linger in the shelter of tall oaks, maples, and pines. Return in October for a spectacular display of fall color.
From I-94, take exit 34A (U.S. 421 north toward Michigan City). Continue north on U.S. 421, passing U.S. 20, to Barker Rd (Al’s Supermarket will be on the west side of road). Turn right (east) onto Barker Rd., proceeding past Barker Middle School, to a stop sign on Cleveland St. After stop sign, take first left onto gravel driveway leading into the fenced preserve.
Download a printable map of the preserve here.
Photos by Ron Trigg unless otherwise stated.