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!