After attempting to explore this preserve in October and ending up at its namesake in Trafalgar, Indiana, we decided to finally explore the Laura Hare Nature Preserve at Downey Hill near Nashville, Indiana. It took us about forty minutes driving time and was well worth the trip. The preserve consists of 6 miles of trails through the woods and was made possible from a donation from the Dr. Laura Hare Chartiable Trust.
The trail is fairly narrow for most of the hike, but does have some wider sections. It twists and turns up and down through the woods. Although arrows on the trees and some trail signs indicate the path, it’s easy to get lost, especially if the leaves cover the trail such as the day we hiked. The trail consists of hard packed dirt surrounded by trees with some inclines and descents, but nothing too steep or difficult. Although this is a loop trail, there is also a 1M older trail called Old Road/Trail that is a short cut through the middle of the loop. This allows you to cut the hike short, if desired. We did that and found it was as wide as a road, thus the name. The Old Road/Trail is mostly grass with few inclines or descents and took us back to the parking area.
This preserve is truly beautiful and a wonderful place to walk in the woods. We enjoyed our hike and decided that Karlie would have too since it was such a peaceful and beautiful place. We rate this trail 3 out of 4 paws up with the only negatives being the small parking lot, no restroom, and the ease of getting lost in the woods.
How do I get there?
Getting to the preserve involves driving on a country road off IN 46. From Nashville continue on IN 46 through Gnaw Bone past the Brown County Winery. Near the Pentecostal Church, take a right onto Mt. Liberty Road. It turns into Valley Branch Road and after about 1.5M the parking is on the left. The parking area is a small gravel lot that holds 5 vehicles. Do not park on the road or blocking the neighbor’s driveway.
For more information, check out the Sycamore Land Trust website.