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Columbia Mine Preserve

Sycamore’s largest property, this preserve is a keystone piece in the Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). Columbia Mine Preserve provides a diverse habitat for many uncommon species, such as bobcats, river otters, and Indiana bats. Columbia Mine and the neighboring refuge create a contiguous habitat block of 5,000 acres.

The Preserve is managed in partnership with the Patoka River NWR. Limited hunting and fishing are permitted. Download the 2019-2020 regulations (PDF).

The Columbia Mine Preserve includes wetlands, bottomland hardwood forest, and upland areas of reclaimed mine land that were planted to forest and grasslands during reclamation. Patoka River NWR’s restoration and ongoing management efforts include control of invasive plants such as autumn olive and Bradford pear, creation shallow wetland areas, and wildflower plantings and controlled burns to maintain and enhance the grasslands. The volunteer Friends of Patoka River NWR group assist with mowing and maintaining the miles of trails on the property.

  • From I-69, take exit 33 and head east on IN-64 toward Oakland City.
  • Pass through town and turn left on CR 1275 E.
  • Turn right on CR 75 S, then veer left on CR 25.
  • Pass multiple Refuge access areas and follow the road through several curves before turning left on CR 125 W at the farmhouse.
  • Follow the gravel road north until it curves left. One parking area will be on your right, and the other is at the end of the road.
  • Counties: Gibson and Pike
  • Acres: 1,043
  • Features: mix of wetlands, prairies, woods, and deep lakes; owls, American woodcock, Bell’s vireo, blue grosbeak, and orchard oriole habitat
  • Year acquired: 2012
  • Acquired with gifts from: Bicentennial Nature Trust, Ducks Unlimited, the Laura Hare Charitable Trust, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Sycamore members
  • Trails: Indian Hill Trail – 1.5 miles, easy; Massey Trail – 1.4 miles, easy; Overlook Trail – 0.7 mile, easy