There are lots of great ways to get out and enjoy the beauty of nature in and around Earlham and East-Central Indiana! Here are a few of our favorite places.
Located within easy walking distance from the main campus, "Back Campus" is a special place. Miles of trails wind through a mixed hardwood forest. Ephemeral ponds, put in place by the Biology department, provide habitat for aquatic invertebrates and "herps" of all kinds. Clear Creek runs through the woods and provides opportunities for solace and quiet and the chance to spot a resident beaver family. The Biology department also manages a small prairie which comes into full bloom in late summer and provides habitat for loads of butterflies and bird species.
Wildman Woods is a wonderful Earlham treasure located within a short drive from campus. Often the site of Biology field work and class field trips, Wildman boasts hiking trails through an excellent stand of old growth hardwood forest. During the late Spring, the wildflowers are magical! A walk through the forest and along the creek during peak fall colors is also a memorable experience. The property is maintained and managed by the Biology department so special permission is required before visiting.
Close by to Wildman Woods is another great, local resource for nature lovers. The Cope Environmental Center has miles of trails open for public use and, during heavy winter snows, can make a great place to try out some snow shoeing or cross country skiing. Cope also has several demonstration areas to learn more about sustainability, gardening, compost, and natural history.
Lots of opportunities await the curious and adventuresome in and around East-Central Indiana. From ice climbing in the Whitewater Gorge, to bike riding on the Cardinal Greenway, to canoeing down the Whitewater River, there are loads of opportunities to get out there. Even further afield, the Red River Gorge in Kentucky (3 hour drive) boasts some of the best rock climbing in the country as well as miles of backpacking trails. The Deam Wilderness near Bloomington, Indiana (2.5 hours) also has excellent mountain biking, backpacking and caving.