Birding · Lake · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Need to Know
This is a popular trail, and the parking lot can only accommodate a half dozen cars, so be prepared to go elsewhere if the parking lot is too full. Nearby Bonneyville Mill County Park is a good alternative destination.
Starting from a small, gravel parking lot along County Road 23, this easy loop trail begins by taking the trail user through an open meadow. Soon after leaving the parking lot, the trail forks into two. Since this is a loop trail, you can reasonably take either option, but it is more popular to begin by taking the western fork as opposed to the northwestern fork.
Assuming that you continued on the western fork, you'll experience a straight and level trail all the way to Pipewort Pond. This portion of the trail traverses a mixed meadow habitat, with some areas of encroaching woodland. The trail is generally well maintained and rarely overgrown. Eventually, the trail widens into a mowed grove, and it is here that a small spur of the trail continues west to a boardwalk that overlooks the pond. The boardwalk is in average condition and is a good place to spot some interesting amphibians, reptiles, and birds.
From the grove, the main trail continues north and parallels the pond. This part of the trail is more wooded and occasionally experiences deadfall. A small overlook spurs off the trail and provides near-panoramic views of the pond during winter, spring, and fall. This area is also home to a few unmarked trails that are more distinguishable during certain seasons than others.
After paralleling the pond, the trail makes two abrupt right turn back into the meadow. This is by far the least visited part of the trail as many visitors only hike to the boardwalk and overlook before turning back the way that they came. It is relatively flat and wide, but offers some opportunity for wildlife viewing. This portion of the trail eventually leads back to the fork by the parking lot, completing the loop.
Pipewort Pond is owned and maintained by the state of Indiana and was created to help protect a rare ecosystem. Disruptive activities like snowmobiling, off-roading, and bonfire parties are not allowed, but people do occasionally break the rules. Suspected violations should be reported to the DNR.
Flora & Fauna
Pipewort Pond is home to a number of uncommon plant species including umbrella sedge, robbin’s spikerush, green-keeled cotton grass, and pipewort. It is also a popular stopover for migrating bird species.
Shared By: Greg Karltun