A drizzly day did not stop us from venturing to Orland, Indiana to check out the Ropchan Memorial Nature Reserve. Although this was not our favorite hike, I’m glad we did it since this location will be retired at the end of 2023.
Ropchan Memorial Nature Reserve is an Acres Land Trust location. Sam and Adeline Ropchan created it by purchasing land from several private landowners from 1976 to 1982 and donating it to Acres Land Trust. At the edge of the parking lot is a memorial sign.
The entrance to the reserve is rather overgrown and we nearly didn’t enter because of this. We decided to walk through the growth to see if we could find the trail, which didn’t take long. Shortly after the entrance the trail splits and we took the trail to the right. The trail winds around in the woods and past a body of water. The trail does not go down to the water, which was okay since it was covered with green algae. At one point we came across another fork with a sign. We took the fork to the right which ended up winding around and back to the parking lot although it indicated it dead ended at a bog. We never found the bog, but we managed to loop back around the body of water covered with algae and to the parking lot.
The trail is rather narrow and in many areas had trees blocking it. We managed to walk over, around, and under the trees, which made for a challenging hike. The trail is also somewhat overgrown in areas and has prickly vines that grab your legs and ankles. For this reason I recommend wearing jeans, which luckily I did. The trail also has some inclines and descents and quite a few obstructions on the ground. The difficulty rating on this hike should probably be at least 4 out of 5 due to all the obstructions on the trail.
Unfortunately this location will be retired in December, 2023 and that is likely why it’s not in great repair. For this reason we can only give it 2 out of 4 paws up. I think this could be quite a nice hike, but the number of trees blocking the trail and the overgrown areas make it less enjoyable. There also is no way to get down to the water and no restroom, but the major reason for the low rating is the condition of the reserve.
How do I get there?
From 69 and take exit 354 for IN-127N. Stay on IN-127 for about 2 miles, then turn left on IN-120W and continue for 7.5M. Turn right onto N 750W and look for the sign and parking lot on the right.
For more information check out the Acres Land Trust Website.