After not going on any adventures for over a week we decided it was time to get out and explore. We traveled to Wabash, Indiana to explore Hathaway Preserve at Ross Run. What a wonderful place that truly has it all – wooded trails, grassy trails, towering trees, shade, and a gorge with a stream running through it. And of course it’s beautiful and peaceful. Sunny and I hiked for nearly 2 miles on a loop trail that circled the gorge and returned us to the parking lot. Hathaway Preserve is a great place to explore that was well worth the over 1 hour travel time.
Hathaway Preserve is an Acres Land Trust location that the Hathaway family donated in honor of Dr. H. Russell Hathaway. There is a large stone at the entrance to the preserve indicating that Dr. Russell grew up in St. Joe, Indiana, was a family physician for 50 years, and loved the natural world. The family donated the land in his memory in 2007. The property is part of the Acres Land Trust who maintains and preserves it for the public to use.
There is a nice parking lot off Baumbauer Rd. with an Acres Land Trust site sign. Upon parking you walk through a mowed grass trail to a large stone memorializing Dr. Russell and the dedication of the land in his name. Just past the stone you either turn to the left and continue walking on mowed grass or travel straight into the woods and a dirt path. We selected the dirt path and continued hiking through the woods along Ross Run gorge. At several points we were able to get down to the water so Sunny could stick her toes in it just like Karlie always did.
In several areas the path narrowed and was elevated quite a bit above the gorge. This made for some spectacular views. In one area we found an interesting old tree that required many photos to be taken in front of it. We also came across a path leading through a forest of evergreen trees. Sadly most of the trees seemed to be dying and had lost their needles. We took that path to the end and then turned around to take a mowed grass path that eventually led back to the parking lot. This is the same trail at the start that is to the left of the large memorial stone.
The majority of the trail is shaded making it a comfortable hike even in the summer. The one area that was not shaded was the mowed grass trail.
For more information visit the Acres Land Trust website.
We rate Hathaway Preserve 3.5 out of 4 paws up. This location is similar to and near Kokiwanee and is rated the same for the same reason – no restroom and the trail can be a little confusing. Sunny loved all the interesting smells and critters plus getting her toes wet in the stream. We would not recommend this trail for anyone with mobility or stability issues. The trail is narrow and has some inclines and descents. Like most trails in the woods it also has roots making it more difficult for those who are not sure-footed.
How do I get there?
From 69 take the Huntington exit and travel west on 24 through Huntington. Turn left onto N 500 E and after about half a mile turn right on E. Blue Star Hwy. Follow this for about 1.5 miles and turn left onto 524. Follow for half a mile and turn right on E. Durnbaugh Rd. Follow this for several miles and then turn right onto E. Baumbauer Rd. The preserve is about half a mile on the right. There is a Acres Land Trust sign and a gravel parking lot.