This adventure nearly didn’t happen. My GPS told me the entrance was farther down Blue Cast Springs Road so I drove right past the parking lot on my first pass. All I could see around me was a big field with woods at the back, but no apparent path, trail, or parking area. What to do? I drove back the way we came and finally saw the gravel parking lot and the Acres Land Trust sign. I really shouldn’t have missed it the first time. Regardless, I’m glad we found it because Blue Cast Spring was well worth the visit.
Blue Cast Springs is part of the Acres Land Trust which protects land in northeast Indiana, southern Michigan, and northwest Ohio. In the early 1900’s water from a natural spring on the land was bottled and sold for its health benefits. Eventually a sanitarium opened on the property, but by the 1920’s it experienced financial troubles. In 2012 the Acres Land Trust acquired the land and preserved it. Today the location offers several trails in the woods with some along the Maumee River.
You access the trail at the right side of the gravel parking lot. Upon entering you have the choice of two mowed grass paths. First we explored the one to the right which is about a quarter mile loop and offers views of fallen trees and vegetation. Since a quarter mile hike was not nearly enough for the two of us, we proceeded back to the start and took the path to the left. This one takes you into the woods and along the Maumee River for about a mile.
There are a few trails off the original trail that wind around in the woods. Although not marked, we found it easy to find our way back to the original trail. For much of the hike you are on bluffs above the river, but near the end you can walk down to the river bed. That’s where we saw some geese enjoying the beautiful day and river.
The majority of the hike is flat with little elevation change and plenty of shade. The trail has some roots, which is typical for a hike in the woods. In spots it was a little muddy despite no rain for the last week. Although not wheelchair friendly, this hike would be possible for dogs using wheels or for people and dogs with some mobility issues.
This is a nice trail in the woods with views and access to the river. Although the trail isn’t long, it does allow for about 2M of hiking if you follow all the trails. We observed many squirrels and birds, but other than that had the place to ourselves. It is a peaceful place to take a hike. We give this trail 3 out of 4 paws up. The main disadvantages are no restrooms and only being able to hike for 2M. Despite that we recommend this spot for a nice hike in the woods.
How do I get there?
Blue Cast Springs is in Woodburn, Indiana. It is on Blue Cast Road just past the intersection with Old US 24. Once you turn off US 24, start looking for the Acres Land Trust sign at the entrance to gravel parking lot on the right. Turn into the parking lot and the start of the trail is at the furthermost right hand side.
For more information check out the Acres Land Trust website.