30 National Natural Landmarks of Indiana

Indiana Dunes State Park on the shores of Lake Michigan was declared a National Natural Landmark in 1974.
Indiana Dunes State Park on the shores of Lake Michigan was declared a National Natural Landmark in 1974.

Indiana is a state in the United States of America with an estimated population of 6,666,818 people living here as of 2016. Indianapolis is the capital of this state and it hosts the state legislature, Supreme Court, and the governor’s office and residence. Bordering Kentucky to the south, Ohio to the east, Michigan to the north, and Illinois to the west, the state is also home to the important national natural landmarks in the country. Conservation of these sites is prioritized by federal and state government agencies and also private organizations to maintain their uniqueness and attractiveness.

Natural Landmarks of Indiana

Meltzer Woods

The forest consists of old wood trees in a vast 48 acre land in Central Indiana. In 1973, it was declared national natural landmark. It is home to several large species of trees. The woods are named after the Meltzer Family that were the previous owners of the property since 1857 when John Frederick Meltzer bought the land. The necessity of conserving the trees is the threat posed by the invasive species of purple winter creeper and garlic mustard which destroys the trees.

Harrison Spring

It holds the record of being the largest spring in the state of Indiana and it is found in Harrison County. The name is derived from the then US President William Henry Harrison who owned the spring. Harrison used the spring to obtain water to run his mills located downstream. The government in 1980 made the spring a national natural landmark. Unlike other sites, this one is not open to the public and trespassing can lead to prosecution and possible imprisonment.

Marengo Cave

The cave is named after the place it was discovered in, that is Marengo County, Indiana. Since it was discovered in 1883 by two school children, is a popular stop for school tours and to the general public. Film crews have also filmed at the site on several occasions. The caves were declared a National Natural Landmark in 1984 and it is conserved through private-public partnership since the cave is privately owned.

Dunes State Park

The state owned park covers an area of 1,530 acres and it includes some hiking trails and the dune landscape that covers almost the entire eastern part of the park. The state government declared it a National Natural Landmark in 1974 and it is subject to conservation efforts by the state government. The park is open to the public but entrance fees are charged for prospective visitors. The monies collected in gate charges help to fund the conservation of the park and maintenance of the facilities in the park like the picnic shelters, the beach house, and the camping site.

Importance of the Natural Landmarks

Conservation of the national natural landmark is an important practice especially if taxpayers’ money is used. In this case, it should be used on landmarks that are open to the public and not on privately owned sites. It should also consider sites that are likely to cash in on tourists as opposed to those that are rarely visited in the state of Indiana.

30 National Natural Landmarks of Indiana

1Big Walnut Creek1968PutnamState, private
2Cabin Creek Raised Bog1974RandolphPrivate
3Calvert and Porter Woods1974MontgomeryState
4Cowles Bog1965PorterFederal
5Davis-Purdue Agriculture Center Forest1974RandolphState
6Donaldson Cave System and Woods1972LawrenceState
7Dunes Nature Preserve1974PorterState
8Fern Cliff Nature Preserve1980PutnamPrivate
9Hanging Rock and Wabash Reef1986WabashPrivate
10Harrison Spring1980HarrisonPrivate
11Hemmer Woods1973GibsonState, private
12Hoosier Prairie1974LakeFederal
13Hoot Woods1973OwenPrivate
14Kramer Woods1973SpencerState
15Marengo Cave1984CrawfordPrivate
16Meltzer Woods1973ShelbyPrivate
17Officer's Woods1974JeffersonPrivate
18Ohio Coral Reef1966FloydFederal
19Pine Hills Natural Area1968MontgomeryState
20Pinhook Bog1965LaPorteFederal
21Pioneer Mothers Memorial Forest1974OrangeFederal
22Portland Arch Nature Preserve1973FountainState
23Rise at Orangeville1972OrangePrivate
24Rocky Hollow Falls Canyon Nature Preserve1974ParkeState
25Shrader-Weaver Woods1974FayetteState
26Tamarack Bog1973LaGrangeState
27Tolliver Swallowhole1972OrangePrivate
28Wesley Chapel Gulf(Elrod Gulf) [3]1972OrangeFederal
29Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve1973VanderburghMunicipal
30Wyandotte Caves1972CrawfordState

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