Black Rock Barrens  Heischman-McAdams Reserve

This 100-acre wooded area (which adjoins the east boundary of NICHES’ Weiler-Leopold property) was originally purchased by The Nature Conservancy in the summer of 1999 on NICHES’ behalf. The property was donated to NICHES after TNC received grant money from the Indiana Heritage Trust at the end of 2000.

Although adjacent to Weiler-Leopold, the character of Black Rock Barrens is quite different. Part of the 100 acres is in the Black Rock Barrens area, a siltstone glade community which is extremely rare in the Midwest. Sixty acres are wooded and the remaining forty acres of bottomlands were reforested in the Spring of 2001. The property will eventually become a State Dedicated Nature Preserve.

Natural Sightings:

Black Rock Barrens has a variety of Spring woodland wildflowers starting with Salt & Pepper in March. The best wildflower display is at the base of the slopes where there is more moisture. Salt & Pepper are followed by a number of other species including Sessile Trillium, Blue Woodland Phlox, and in late Spring masses of Wild Hyacinth–literally thousands of plants.

Spring species found on the drier slopes include the small early blooming tree, Service Berry (also known as Shadbush), Rue Anemone, Bird Foot Violet, Yellow Pimpernel, and Downy Phlox.

Interesting Things to See and Do

After returning to the parking lot, you can explore the nearby Weiler-Leopold Nature Reserve.

Upon exiting the Weiler-Leopold parking lot, a left turn onto the Greenhill-Independence road will take you 6 miles farther southwest, across Little Pine Creek (which marks the western boundary of the Weiler-Leopold Reserve, and whose valley Charles Deam, Indiana’s first State Forester and premiere botanist, said was the best place in the state for spring wildflowers) and on to the village of Independence. On your left as you approach the village is Warren County’s Cicott Park, 73 varied acres with trails, picnic tables, and restrooms.

If you turn right from the Weiler-Leopold parking lot, the black top road will lead you back to Division Road on the edge of Greenhill. As an alternative, one mile from the parking, lot turn east/right onto Warren County Road 350 North. Follow this gravel road about 2 miles to NICHES’ WABASH BOTTOMS – Janssen Tract. From there, the shortest route to West Lafayette is to proceed north on the gravel road (it is now Tippecanoe County Road 950 West) for another 1.5 miles. Turn right onto 75 South and follow the blacktop 2 miles east then north through the Ravines Golf Course, to Division Road. A right turn onto Division takes you 9 miles to West Lafayette.

How to Get There:

From Lafayette/West Lafayette take South River Road/Division Road west across US 231 and follow that for 8.3 miles to the Ravines Golf Course at S 875 W and take a left. Follow S 875 W passed Ross Hills Park and curve right onto W 50 S. Take the next left onto 925 W and follow that passed Ross Camp and curve right onto W 75 S. Take the next left onto S 950 W and follow that across the Tippecanoe/Warren County line. When you cross into Warren County S 950 W becomes E 350 N. At the next intersection with N 1100 E take a left and follow the road for 0.7 miles, around the next curve. The shared parking lot for Black Rock Barrens and Weiler-Leopold will be on your left a short distance after you round the curve.

From Attica/Williamsport turn onto SR 55 from SR 28/41 and cross the bridge over Big Pine Creek. Take the first right onto E Independence Road. Follow Independence Road for 8.8 miles. The parking area for Black Rock Barrens, Weiler-Leopold, and Kohnke’s Little Pine Creek will be on your right.

Black Rock Barrens Map

Vital Statistics

100 acres

There is a loop trail running from the reserve sign into the woods: one arm of the loop is an old gravel road, the other is a path that runs across the uplands, down a slope and across the base of the hills back to the old gravel road. Watch for pink flagging along its route. If you find any portable trash on your visit, please carry it back to the edge of the gravel road for pick up. Thanks!