Hikes & Field Trips
Interested in seeing the “original” Indiana? An INPAWS hike is a great opportunity to join others in the great outdoors to observe and learn about our state’s fascinating plants—animals too!—and their habitats. You’ll get to know our native plants up close and personal, guided by experts who can show you where to look and help you understand what you’re seeing.
Except as noted, INPAWS hikes are open to the public and do not require registration. When we venture into more delicate or restricted environments, the numbers of participants may be limited via registration.
Details and directions are posted on the INPAWS blog as they become available. Click on the category “Hikes & Field Trips.”
What to Expect
Hikes are typically offered from April to October at various locations in the state. Most sites visited are natural areas, ranging in conditions from level to rugged, wet to dry, full sun to shade. Many are high quality and designated as state nature preserves.
Each trip has one or more hike leaders eager to share their knowledge along the way. Typically these are people who manage the properties, who work for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Nature Preserves, or who teach at local universities. It’s not uncommon for at least a few fellow hikers to be plant experts in their own right!
You can expect to have a great experience on the hike, but be aware that you may encounter a variety of weather conditions and field hazards, such as mosquitoes, poison ivy, and ticks. Proper preparation and a sense of adventure normally overcome any of these discomforts.
So put on the boots, pack your camera and rain gear, apply your favorite bug repellent, and join us as we take delight in Indiana’s natural treasures.
Many Indiana communities include parks and parcels of natural land where native plants can be seen without traveling far afield.
We welcome your reports about such places for our Mini-Hikes Series in INPAWS Journal.
New to Botanizing?
When you greet Indiana native plants in the wild, it helps to know what to look for and what to focus on. We’ve provided lots of resources on this site to help you.
From INPAWS Journal
“A Botanical Eden: Jasper-Pulaski Fish & Wildlife Area” by Jim McCormac, Ohio Division of Wildlife. Winter 2008-09
“Spring Day at Pine Hills” by Roger L. Hedge, Heritage Ecologist, Indiana DNR Division of Nature Preserves. Summer 2008
“A Day of Superlatives: INPAWS Ventures to Coles County, Illinois” by Hilary Cox, Leescapes Garden Design. Summer 2008
“On the Trail at Twin Swamps” by Michael A. Homoya, Indiana DNR Division of Nature Preserves. Summer 2007
“Plaster Creek Seeps Rich in Mosses and Lichens” by Gillian Harris, INPAWS South Central Chapter. Spring 2006
“Cressmoon Prairie” by Warren Buckler. Summer 2005
“The Mini-Hike Solution” by Bobbi Diehl. Summer 2006