NATURE PRESERVE SPOTLIGHT                                              

By Ron Hellmich, Director
DNR Nature Preserves

Located in Chain O’ Lakes State Park, Glacial Esker Nature Preserve is a 731 acre nature preserve in Noble County.

The topography of this preserve was formed by the glaciers. Flat-bottom lowlands occupied by channels that were cut by glacial meltwater interconnect a series of kettle lakes by shallow wetlands, creeks, and floodplain forests. There are scattered ‘Erratics’, large rocks that were carried by the glacier from its parent source and dropped ‘erratically’. The ridge top and ravines of the esker are covered with upland forest. The preserve also contains several lakes, runs along several lakeshores, and includes their associated emergent and submersed wetland communities. The natural communities of the preserve contain many species that are area-sensitive wetland and forest interior plants and animals dependent upon large, unfragmented wetland and forest ecosystems.

Noteworthy animal species found in this preserve include the Brown Creeper, and the
Hooded, Cerulean and Prothonotary Warbler. It’s also home to several hawks, the Least Bittern, Barn Owl, and Black-crowned Night Heron.

Glacial Esker Nature Preserve has parcels located throughout the state park and can be accessed by trails 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, and 9.