Hidden Prairie & Ivory Wetlands
This 61-acre property is located in the City of Hobart. The preserve consists of two parcels bisected by railroad tracks. The northern portion is characterized by an ecotone that ranges from wet-mesic prairie to swamp to marsh to open water. The prairie was formerly overgrown with invasives (hence the name), but it is being restored to health and now features a variety of native grasses and wildflowers. The wetlands host great egrets, great blue herons, green herons, wood ducks, and other water birds. The southern half of the property is a large marsh under restoration. A short trail allows access to the northern half of the preserve; the southern portion is undeveloped for visitors.
Photos by Ron Trigg
From I-65, exit at Ridge Road west. Turn south on Alabama St., then east on E. 38th Ave., then south on Missouri St. until it intersects with E. 41st Ave. Park on the street near the preserve sign. Walk south along unpaved road paralleling I-65 and onto trail into the prairie.
Once lost beneath a tangle of invasives, Hidden Prairie emerged after years of careful restoration. Bottle gentians and ladies’ tresses orchids are among the many floral delights blooming here in late summer and early fall. Great egrets and great blue herons favor the marshy wetlands here.