Meridian Reynolds: North Vernon preserve a natural for all seasons

If you love the outdoors with a variety of wildflowers and varying terrain, the Calli Nature Preserve in North Vernon is the park for you.

The preserve is one of North Vernon’s hidden gems with a whopping 200 acres and up to 2-mile-long trails.

This area was only opened to the public about 10 years ago as a gift from a private family. Their goal was to preserve a pristine old-growth forest along the Muscatatuck River.

Located at 1200 North Private Road 40 East in North Vernon, this is an open public area and is mostly level with a few hills and lots of sturdy wooden bridges over dry creeks.

The gravel road leading to the preserve is a dead end with safe parking. The preserve has marked trails with shortcut connectors and great views of the Muscatatuck River.

The well-maintained trails take you through woods, wildflowers, creeks, waterfalls in the rainy season, and alongside the Muscatatuck River. Wildlife abounds including deer, rabbits, squirrels, turtles, birds and other wild animals.

It’s really a beautiful place. There are no bathroom facilities, but the trails are not very long and there are interpretive maps and markers along the trail to let you know what you’re observing. Dogs are welcomed on a leash.

This quiet place is one to visit during all seasons!