Montgomery County

Bachner Nature Reserve

Bachner Nature Preserve comprises 28 acres of young and mature woodland and includes ¼ mile of creek frontage at the confluence of Rattlesnake and Sugar Creeks.  Bachner Nature Preserve is adjacent to the Department of Natural Reources Sugar Creek Access, a public access site for paddlers, fihserman and others who want to explore NICHES' Bachner Nature Preserve.

Sugar Creek is home to some of the best smallmouth bass fishing in Indiana, as well as softshell turtles, belted kingfishers and river otters.

The land is level except for an inclined section south of Rattlesnake Creek. As the trees continue to mature and establish progeny and the understory transitions to include a variety of  native woodland species, soil retention and water quality of Sugar Creek will improve.

Along the shores and on the bars are excellent spots to search for crinoid fossils.


  • Bird Watching
  • Fishing
  • Mushroom Harvesting Allowed
  • No Trails
  • Wildflowers
  • Junior Ranger Activities

History of Acquisition and Property

Acquisition partners: The Nature Conservancy, Indiana D.N.R. Division of Fish and Wildlife, Friends of Sugar Creek.

Bachner Nature Preserve 28 acre purchased from The Nature Conservancy in 2008. The property is subject to Indiana Heritage Trust Easement conditions as per Indiana DNR-Division of Fish and Wildlife.

Ten acres of the property were wooded at the time of acquisition. Seventeen acres were reforested with 5,400 trees on April 25 & 26, 2009.

Bachner Nature Reserve is named in memory of Michael Bachner, remembered as the longtime Wabash College bookstore manager and an impassioned environmentalist. Michael Bachner advocated at Wabash College encouraging the community to recycle. He led educational kayak trips down Sugar Creek, exposing students to the power and beauty of nature as well as making them aware of local environmental concerns. In his role as Wabash Bookstore manager, he always supplied the community with a source of books by local naturalists, nature writers and reference books.

How to Get There

From Crawfordsville, take 32 West Turning left on 325 W (Camp Rotary Rd.) in 1.5 miles Turn right on 250 S (Offield Monument Rd.) In 1.4 miles the parking lot will be on your right The parking lot is actually a Indiana DNR property, Sugar Creek Access Point, parking lot, shared with NICHES Land Trust. (The parking lot entrance sign is for I.DNR. land and makes no mention of Bachner Nature Reserve.  Public visiting NICHES Bacher Reserve are welcome to park in the lot.)

Noteworthy Information

Park at the adjacent Sugar Creek Access owned and managed by the Department of Natural Resources.


Closed in November for Deer Control Hunt

Number of Acres


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1782 N 400 E, Lafayette, IN 47905
(765) 423-1605
NICHES Land Trust
NICHES Properties