I was looking for a new place to hike that also had a water feature and came across Olin Lake Nature Preserve. Looking online it looked like a nice spot bordering a large lake. Despite reading that it could be quite buggy, we decided to venture to Wolcottville to check it out.
Olin Lake Nature Preserve is a 269 acre wooded preserve bordering Olin Lake in Wolcottville, Indiana. It has a nearly 2 mile loop that ends at the lake. The entire lake shoreline is protected by the preserve and it is the largest lake with an undeveloped shoreline, likely because it is swampy and marshy. The preserve is protected and maintained by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
Shortly upon entering the preserve I found that what I read about it being buggy was true and was so happy I wore long sleeves and pants. The only parts of my body that were not covered were my face, neck, and hands and the mosquitoes found all of that fresh skin. The entire time we were hiking the mosquitoes were buzzing around my face and ears. Needless to say this made for a less than enjoyable hike. Despite spraying Sunny with Cedarcide to protect her from ticks and other bugs she also periodically shook her head so I assume they were buzzing around her face too.
Despite all the bugs we hiked for about a mile to the lake. The path was fairly narrow, really only big enough to walk single file. In some sections it narrowed so much that we were nearly walking through the brush on the side. There were a few inclines and descents and bridges to cross making it difficult for anyone with mobility or stability issues. It was mostly shaded and despite the mosquitoes a nice, peaceful walk in the woods.
The big disappointment, however, was when we arrived at the lake overlook. There is no way to access the water so Sunny could not put her toes in it. There is a platform that looks out over the water and Sunny kept looking at the space between the slats as if to say, “How lame is this? I can see the water, but I can’t get in it.”
For more information check out Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
Although we enjoy any hike in the woods we only give Olin Lake Nature Preserve 2 out of 4 paws up. The main reasons are the amount of mosquitoes and the inability to get down to the water. It’s a nice walk in the woods, but the mosquitoes make it much less enjoyable. We’ve hiked many places in Indiana and this location truly had the most mosquitoes of any place we’ve visited.
How do I get there?
The address for the preserve is 5555 S 125 E in Wolcotville, Indiana. To get there take 6W to Kendallville and turn right onto Lima Rd. (3 North). At Five Lakes Coffee, turn left onto N. Angling Rd. Follow this for just over 4M and then turn left onto E. Northport Rd. Follow that for almost 3M and turn right onto 9N. Follow for 3.5M and turn left onto E 600 S. After just over 2M turn right onto S 125 E. Just before the road turns to the left, look for the gravel parking lot on the right. There is a wood entrance that leads to a narrow path through the woods.