Scarlet Oak Woods

Named for the scarlet oak trees that display brilliant red fall colors, this nature preserve protects a mature, high-quality upland forest that borders a unit of the Morgan-Monroe State Forest and the Mt. Gilead Friends Retreat, A tall ridge runs the length of the property, with deep valleys on either side. Stephens Creek runs through the eastern valley.

Wildflowers found here include Guyandotte beauty, which is on the Indiana Department of Natural Resources’ endangered plants watch list. Sycamore staff and volunteers are working to remove invasive garlic mustard and vinca to protect the habitat for this and other native plants.

The first 66 acres of Scarlet Oak Woods was donated anonymously in 2002. In 2016, the size of the preserve was doubled thanks to bargain sale gifts from another anonymous donor, George Bull and Faye Mark, and Bill and Lorraine Hanna, with funding from the Indiana Bicentennial Nature Trust.

  • County: Monroe
  • Acres: 123
  • Features: mature upland forest, creek valleys
  • Years acquired: 2002, 2016
  • Acquired with gifts from: Anonymous (2), Bicentennial Nature Trust, George Bull and Faye Mark, Bill and Lorraine Hanna
  • Trail: A short one-way trail starts at the dead end of Viking Ridge Road.
  • Parking: There is no parking lot, although there is room for three cars to park at the end of Viking Ridge Road. Do not park in our neighbor’s gravel pull-off.