Indiana Nature Preserve Spotlight
By John Bacone
Baltzell-Lenhart Wood is one of the few remnant old growth Woods remaining in Indiana. A woods such as this is especially rare in east-central Indiana. This 37 acre woods is located on County Road 200 North, and can be found about ½ mile east of US 27, in Adams County, near the town of Decatur. The woods is a mesic and wet-mesic flatwoods typical of Indiana’s central till plain, and what makes it unique is that it has an old-growth aspect, due to the fact that the past owners didn’t remove any of the trees. It is dominated by oaks and hickories, many of which are moisture loving species, such as bur oak, swamp white oak, and pin oak. Other moisture loving trees include red maple, sycamore, and cottonwood. This type of flatwoods is characterized by a hard pan fairly close to the surface, which retains the moisture, and sometimes the ground is covered by shallow pools of water. Visitors, especially in Spring, will be rewarded with an excellent display of wildflowers. Victor Baltzell donated this land to be a nature preserve in memory of his wife Alice Lenhart Baltzell. There is a small parking lot on the south side of CR 200N, and visitors can hike the trail which is approximately ¾ mile in length.