Weiler-Leopold Nature Reserve

 

This 179-acre property on the Wabash River in eastern Warren County includes open oak savannas, wooded slopes, old fields dotted with boulders deposited by glaciers in millennia past, 100 acres of bottomlands returning to forest after the planting of 30,000 trees in May of 2000, and a 12-acre grassland area being restored to native tall grass prairie. Walks through these areas are most conveniently begun from the parking lot at the northeast corner of the property. Birds and mammals abound. Many special plants have also been found and more are being discovered each year now that fire, in the form of controlled burns in the savanna and prairie areas, has returned to reduce the competition from aggressive and nonnative invaders.

The Reserve is named after its former joint owners, the families of Emanuel Weiler, who was the founding dean of Purdue’s School of Management and of the Krannert Graduate School, and of A. Carl Leopold, an internationally known plant physiologist and son of the renowned naturalist Aldo Leopold. It was acquired in 1999 with the support of the Indiana Heritage Trust, the Roy Whistler Foundation, the Sycamore Audubon Society, the Weiler, Leopold, and Sanna families, and nearly two hundred additional individuals, families, groups, and businesses.

How to Get There

From the east, take South River Road (whose name changes to “Division Road” part way out) west from State Road 26 in West Lafayette. Follow it 12 miles, past Fort Ouiatenon and Granville Bridge, up Indian Hill, and past the Ravines Golf Course to the village of Greenhill. You will know you are approaching Greenhill when the road makes a 90-degree left/south turn and, one city block later, a 90-degree right/west turn. Instead of entering Greenhill, turn left/south onto Warren County Road 1125 East. Follow the blacktop road, known locally as the “Greenhill-Independence Road”, for 4.3 miles as it proceeds south and west to the parking lot in the northeast corner of the property, which is marked with a large sign identifying the Reserve.

From the west, follow the Greenhill-Independence Road east from Independence along the north bank of the Wabash River 6 miles to the parking lot.

The coordinates for the parking lot are: N 40° 21.542′ – W 87° 06.968′.

NEARBY ATTRACTIONS

Immediately east of the parking lot, and accessible from it by foot trails, is NICHES’ BLACK ROCK BARRENS – Heischman-McAdams Reserve.

Upon exiting the parking lot, a left turnonto 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.