A beautiful fall day means an adventure. Today we traveled about an hour southwest of Fort Wayne to Peru, IN. Because we traveled a bit of a distance we visited two places – Lost Sister Trail and Seven Pillars Nature Preserve. Both were fantastic places to hike in the woods and well worth the travel time.
After exploring Lost Sister Trailhead and having a picnic lunch, we drove to Seven Pillars Nature Preserve, which is an Acres Land Trust site. We got a quick peak of the pillars for which the preserve is named as we turned the corner to enter the parking lot. Although the pillars and the Mississinewa River are the highlight of the preserve, there are some nice trails in the woods and that is where we started this adventure.
After parking our car we walked to the back of the parking lot and across the grass field to enter the preserve. Upon entering we found a nice dirt trail through the woods. The trail had a few wood plank overpasses and bridges and one really big hill. This hill is likely the main reason for the 4 out of 5 difficulty rating on the Acres Land Trust website. There is a main trail, however there are some other trails that branch off. We took one of these and ended up walking across a field and to the road that eventually led back to the parking lot, pillars, and river.
After hiking in the woods we walked along the road to the river and found some trails there too. We followed the trails and found two locations to get down to the banks of the river. Sunny put her toes in the water which made her day. The water is quite shallow making it a nice spot to play. And the views of the pillars is spectacular.
After returning home and looking at the preserve map we found that the main path loops around and returns to the parking lot. That would have been preferred to walking on the road back to the parking lot. The trail in the woods is 1.4M, but we walked nearly 2M between the trails in the woods and the trails along the river.
Sunny and I rate Seven Pillars Nature Preserve 4 out of 4 paws up. This spot really has it all in our book. You can go for a challenging hike in the woods and then walk along the Mississinewa River and get your toes wet. And the views of the pillars are outstanding. It also has a nice parking lot across from the river. The only thing missing is a restroom, but that isn’t enough to downgrade the rating.
How do I get there?
From I-69 take exit #278 toward Huntington then turn right onto 5 North. Follow 5 for about 1.5M then turn left onto 124 West and continue for 26 miles. Turn left onto S 675 E and continue for 1.2 mile before turning right onto E 380 S/Mississinewa Dam Road. After 1.5 mile turn left onto S 550 E and then take the first right onto E 400 S. Follow that for 1.5 mile and then turn right onto S 400 E. After half a mile turn right to stay on S 400 E. After nearly a mile it turns left and turns into Mississinewa Road. Shortly after this look for the parking lot and sign on the left.
For more information check out the Acres Land Trust website.