Take a Hike: Kuehn Conservation Area

If you enjoy hiking a mix of woodland and prairie, I can’t reccommend Kuehn Conservation Area enough. Just north of Earlham, this 800+ acre area boasts beautiful native and restored prairie, riparian and upland forests, a nature center, unique geological formations, archaeological sites, a bird watching blind, and interpretive trails.

The trails here are great! I hiked all but two wooded trails. The prairie trails are wide, mowed paths that were, for the most part, easy to follow. I did find myself wishing they were labeled or marked in some way–as I felt that I wasn’t sure which one I was on at times (even with the map handy). But, I had a general idea of where I’d been, so by process of elimination, I found my way back to my car relatively easily. The trails to the river were also easy to navigate and because the water levels are pretty low, I was able to explore along the sandbars for a ways.

It took me about four hours to see the entire area (granted I stopped about every five feet to photograph something). The prairie trails were a butterfly mecca and the wildflowers were in all stages of life. As you’ll see at the end of the post, I had some post-processing fun with a wilting flower. The first image in the series is the unedited original, from there I experimented with varying color shifts and black and white styles to get something a bit moodier, which is why I couldn’t resist shooting this flower in the first place.

Overall, I really enjoyed my morning at Kuehn. I’ll definitely being coming here again for photography and hiking. Hopefully next time there will be some water in the creeks!

butterfly on cone flower 1 watermarkedMonarch on grass watermarkedGiant Yellow Swallowtail on coneflower watermarkedGiant Yellow Swallowtail on coneflower angled watermarkedGiant Swallowtail on coneflower 2 watermarkedGiant Black Swallowtail on coneflower watermarkedchewed leaf shero watermarkedred leaf on log watermarkedfungi on log 1 watermarkedfallen log fallen bark lowkey watermarkedknotty vine watermarkedVines growing out of broken tree HDR bleached watermarkedtall trees at Kuehn watermarkedlooking up into the trees watermarkedinto the trees MP watermarkeddead tree among the living 2 watermarkedKuehn trail 1 dc watermarkedKuehn Prairie at top of zigzg trail watermarkedRaccoon River at Kuehn TCS watermarkedTeepee at Kuehn watermarkedspined micrathena spider watermarkedyellow flower TCS watermarked.jpg

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