Sunny and I decided to venture to Spencerville for an early morning hike this week. We visited the McNabb-Walter Preserve which is another Acres Land Trust location. This site was donated by Alwilda McNabb Walter and her husband, Martin in 1982. Alwilda was born on the land and she and her husband purchased it in 1944. The land included their home, the family farm, and a maple syrup operation.

Although this is a relatively short hike at barely a mile, it is quite scenic with views of ravines and a variety of trees including ash, beech, maple, red and white oak, sugar maple, sycamore, and tulip. The trail is fairly flat, but does have a few inclines and descents. The trail is fairly narrow in most places and like most trails in the woods is packed dirt with vines and roots coming up. There is quite a bit of wildlife including deer and squirrels plus a variety of birds. Sunny had her nose to the ground for much of the hike so I can only assume there were great scents.

A short distance from the start you come to a fork in the path. We took the path to the right. This is the only trail and it loops around back to the fork. Since we wanted to have a little longer hike we did the loop twice, once starting to the right and the next time going to the left. We enjoyed both versions and the views it provided.

checking out the ravines
fork in the trail
Sunny and the trees

The highlight of the hike was coming up on the old maple syrup shack. Depending on which way you take the loop you either walk over a wood boardwalk on the way to the shack or after seeing it. There is also the land of cut down trees on one side of the shack. Sadly, the shack is deteriorating and over time will just be a memory. Sunny and I enjoyed exploring it and finding out what it was when we arrived home and checked the Acres Land Trust website.

sugar shack
Sunny on the trail
boardwalk to or from sugar shack

For the majority of the hike you enjoy the view of the standing trees as well as the downed ones. This made for a really scenic hike. At some points you stand above the ravines of the Davis and Fisher Creeks. Although you can see the creeks you can not get down to them from the trail. At the time of our visit there was little water in the visible portion of the creeks.

We had the preserve to ourselves the day of our visit. This made for a quiet, peaceful hike in the woods. We did notice some horse hooves in the wetter sections of the trail. I can’t imagine how a horse maneuvers over some sections of the trail since it’s narrow and the ravine is below. This likely is why the entrance sign indicates no horses, bikes, or motorized vehicles.

horse hoof prints on the trail

Our Rating

Sunny and I give the preserve a solid 3 out of 4 paws up. We really enjoyed our hike and it’s quite scenic. The shortcomings for us are the inability to get down to the creeks (at least without doing a significant amount of off trail hiking) and the shortness of the hike. We remedied this by doing the hike once in each direction. There also is no restroom which is common for Acres Land Trust sites.

How do I get there?

The McNabb-Walter Preserve is located in Spencerville, Indiana. From Spencerville take IN 1 South for about .2M and then turn left on County Road 68. Follow this for about .5M and then turn right at the first cross street which is County Road 57. After less than 1M turn right onto N. County Line Road which turns into Davis Road. Continue about .7M and look for the gravel parking lot and the sign on the left. Entrance to the preserve is on the right side of the parking lot.

McNabb-Walter preserve sign
entrance to McNabb-Walter preserve

McNabb-Walter Preserve

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