Our Nature Preserves
We invite you to experience the natural world in northwestern Indiana by visiting our nature preserves in Lake, Porter, LaPorte and St. Joseph Counties. Examples of the unique variety of natural communities are represented, including dune-and-swale, oak savanna, woodlands, prairies, and a variety of wetland ecosystems.
If you're interested in visiting our preserves with a group, we offer guided hikes and volunteer workdays where you can learn about and experience these unique environments, get an eco-workout and meet like-minded people!
Preserves marked with a green circle on the map below are are open to the public daily from dawn until dusk. There is no entrance fee. Please read our Public Use Policy for more details.
Lake County Nature Preserves
Bayless Dune - Gary
Bur Oak Woods - Hobart
Cressmoor Prairie - Hobart
Gordon & Faith Greiner Nature Preserve - Hobart
Green Heron Pond - Gary
Hidden Prairie & Ivory Wetlands - Hobart
Ivanhoe South Nature Preserve - Gary
Seidner Dune & Swale Nature Preserve- Hammond
Porter County Nature Preserves
Beverly Shores Project Area- Beverly Shores
Dale B. Engquist Nature Preserve - Pine Township
Father Basil Moreau Nature Preserve - Pine Township
John Merle Coulter Nature Preserve - Portage
J. Timothy Ritchie Nature Preserve - Chesterton
Keith Richard Walner Nature Preserve - Chesterton
Meadowbrook Conservation Center / Preserve - Valparaiso
Wykes-Plampin Nature Preserve - Chesterton
Walnut Woods Nature Preserve - Union Township
La Porte County Nature Preserves
Ambler Flatwoods - Michigan City
Barker Woods - Michigan City
Hildebrand Lake - New Durham Township
Myrna J. Newgent Nature Preserve - Willis Township
St. Joseph County
Lydick Bog - South Bend
Things to consider when visiting a Nature Preserve
Shirley Heinze Land Trust Nature Preserves are open to the public for hiking, birding, nature study, photography, and similar passive activities (non-consumptive recreation). View our Public use Policy for more details.
Please help us protect the natural communities of plants and animals when you visit our nature preserves. The following activities are prohibited:
When I walk through any of Shirley Heinze's preserves, I begin using all of my senses. I take in my surroundings in ways I don't ordinarily do, and this causes me to shift the focus of my life. I see and look at everything differently. I listen to the sounds of the birds, animals and the whole earth.
My body takes a deep breath, and my lungs choose to continue this deep breathing. I feel a sense of relief from daily indoor cares. As I let go of my life, I live in the moment and am inspired by the connection with this miracle of nature around me. A friend of mine always says that "when you're feeling blue, you need to go take a walk in nature. It'll make you feel so much better." She is oh, so right.