Your new favorite hiking spot? Trevlac Bluffs Nature Preserve

Hemlocks on Trevlac Bluffs by Jeff Danielson

Hemlocks on Trevlac Bluffs by Jeff Danielson

For years, people have been asking us whether they can visit Trevlac Bluffs Nature Preserve. It’s easy to see why: the steep bluff protects a rare stand of native eastern hemlock trees, and beautiful Beanblossom Creek flows through the preserve for 1.7 miles. Yet there was no safe access to the preserve or a trail to reach the bluff.

Now, thanks to a grant from Brown County Community Foundation and help from Sycamore’s volunteers, you can explore Trevlac Bluffs Nature Preserve via two trails.

First, the historic Yellowwood Trail created by Brown County resident Ken Tuxhorn in 1949. It was a one-way trail ending at Bear Wallow, where hikers could camp and purchase awards. Originally 20 miles long, it was later shortened to 11 miles. The trailhead was near the intersection of Old SR 45 and new SR 45, where hikers would be dropped off to hike back to Trail Headquarters. Ken operated Trail Headquarters and his nonprofit organization, Outdoor Educational Activities Inc., from his home on Bear Wallow Hill for 64 years until he passed away in 2013.

An example of the patches awarded for completing the historic Yellowwood Trail.

An example of the patches awarded for completing the historic Yellowwood Trail.

Sycamore Land Trust is now maintaining the approximately one-mile portion of the trail that crosses Trevlac Bluffs Nature Preserve, which was first protected in 2006 as a joint project with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and The Nature Conservancy. Portions of the trail have been re-routed to minimize erosion and to provide access from Old SR 45. Be sure to stay on the trail, especially where it crosses private property. Please respect our neighbors and do not trespass.

The second access point for Trevlac Bluffs Nature Preserve is a short loop trail through the bottomland. Gaze up the remarkably steep bluff from your vantage point at the bottom.

We rely on the help of members and volunteers to acquire and maintain our nature preserves. Trevlac Bluffs is also one of the sites available for a named bench to honor someone you care about—and has one of the best views! Learn more about Naming Opportunities.

View the trail descriptions and map here. Enjoy! (And send photos to!)

By John Lawrence and Katrina Folsom, Sycamore staff members