- County: Monroe
- Acres: 733
- Features: bald eagle nest, frog pond, woodpecker and woodcock habitat
- Years acquired: 1995 – 2018
- Acquired with gifts from: Gene and Peggy Baugh, Paul and Barbara Grieco, Bill and Kathleen Oliver, Barbara Restle, Bicentennial Nature Trust, Indiana Heritage Trust, The Nature Conservancy, Ropchan Foundation, and Sycamore members
- Trail: 2.5 miles. Flat. Waterproof boots are recommended; portions of the gravel entrance trail can have several inches of standing water during minor flooding,and the parking lot may be inaccessible for a few days after. The boardwalk can be slippery when wet, especially the wooden sections, so exercise caution. The parking area and trail may be inaccessible during larger flood events, which happen a few times a year for several days at a time.
- Parking capacity: The gravel parking lot has room for eight cars
Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve
The exceptional habitat at this wetland preserve provides a home for the endangered Indiana bat, Kirtland’s snake, and other threatened species. The majority of the property has been dedicated as an Indiana State Nature Preserve by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, and it has also been designated a state Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society and a Wetland of Distinction by the Society of Wetland Scientists.
Sycamore’s nature preserve adjoins the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Restle Unit of the Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge and a privately-owned wetland protected by a permanent Wetland Reserve Program easement. More than 800 acres of contiguous land are protected altogether, 733 of which are owned by Sycamore. The preserve is also an important part of Sycamore’s Beanblossom Creek Bicentennial Conservation Area project.
Accessibility: A raised boardwalk trail and four observation decks enhance exploration of this diverse environment. Thanks to support from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust and the Duke Energy Foundation, the new portion of the boardwalk trail is more accessible to those with limited mobility:
– The plastic deck is 36″ wide, with openings less than 1/2″
– The maximum grade is 10% for 15′
– 6 turnarounds for passing/turning
– Gravel trail from parking lot to plastic boardwalk is crushed gravel (73s mixed with dust); please note this section may have several inches of standing water in low areas when water levels are high, more commonly in the winter and spring, and the parking may be after major rain events
– Wood boardwalk at the back of the loop (beyond the plastic boardwalk) is 36″ wide, with boards running parallel to the direction of travel; this section is slippery when wet
News & More Information
Take a virtual hike of Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve led by Executive Director John Lawrence in early spring 2021. Find out where to spot the bald eagles’ nest, get serenaded by chorus frogs and spring peepers just emerged from their winter rest, identify tracks on the boardwalk, and learn about some of John’s favorite plants and how they sustain wildlife. Click the video player above to watch.
On June 7, 2021, the Midwestoration Podcast interviewed Sycamore Land Trust’s Land Stewardship Director Chris Fox and Land Preservation Director Rob McCrea to discuss this unique and important wetland habitat and current restoration efforts in the Beanblossom Creek Bicentennial Conservation Area. Listen here:
A major renovation project was completed in spring 2019, which was followed by tornado damage in June 2019. The boardwalk loop is now entirely repaired and open and only the eastern spur trail remains closed for further repair. You can help support this work by making a donation today.
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the boardwalk rebuild project in this video:
Thank you to the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust and the Duke Energy Foundation for their generous grants towards the renovation project. Maintaining the trail will continue to be a significant expense for Sycamore, and we need your help. If you enjoy the trail, please become a Sycamore member or make an extra donation toward our trail maintenance fund. Your support makes a difference, so thank you!
The .2 mile mowed trail and observation deck across from the start of the elevated trail is named in memory of Kathy Illich Gutowsky, thanks to gifts from many friends and family members. Kathy’s husband Chris told us: “Many thanks to the support of friends and family who have made it possible to name this trail in honor of the memory of Kathy Gutowsky. Kathy loved the outdoors and all the creatures of the wild. She was passionate about trail running and hiking and cared deeply about preserving our environment. It is only fitting that her name is permanently associated with a nature preserve trail enjoyed by all who visit.”
- From the intersection of State Road 37 and the State Road 45/46 Bypass northwest of Bloomington, take SR 46 west towards Ellettsville.
- Follow SR 46 for 3 miles to the stoplight at Union Valley Rd, by McDonald’s.
- Turn right onto Union Valley Rd and go 2.5 miles to the T intersection.
- Turn right onto Delap Rd.
- Stay on Delap Rd for about 0.9 miles, staying to the right as you pass the first two Y intersections.
- At the third Y (the intersection of Delap Rd and Woodall Rd) go left on Woodall Rd.
- Follow Woodall Rd for about 1.4 miles to a small gravel parking lot on your right, just after the bridge over Beanblossom Creek.