Bachner Nature Reserve


Bachner Nature Preserve  comprises 28 acres of woodland and includes ¼ mile of creek frontage at the confluence of Rattlesnake and Sugar Creeks.  The stream features abundant macro-invertebrate species, fish and juvenile amphibians, such as soft-shell turtle.  The riparian edge offers excellent habitat for a variety of birds, such as the belted kingfisher.  In addition to birds, the woods support various land wildlife including raccoon, fox and potentially river otter.

The land is level except for an inclined section south of Rattlesnake Creek.   As the trees continue to mature and establish progeny and the understory transitions to include a variety of  native woodland species soil retention and water quality of Sugar Creek will improve.

Along the shores and on the bars are excellent spots to search for crinoid fossils.


History of Acquisition and Property

Acquisition partners: The Nature Conservancy, Indiana D.N.R. Division of Fish and Wildlife, Friends of Sugar Creek.

Bachner Nature Preserve 28 acre purchased from The Nature Conservancy in 2008.  The property is subject to Indiana Heritage Trust Easement conditions as per Indiana DNR-Division of Fish and Wildlife.

Ten acres of the property were wooded at the time of acquisition.  Seventeen acres were reforested with 5,400 trees on April 25 & 26, 2009.

Bachner Nature Reserve is named in memory of Michael Bachner, remembered as the longtime Wabash College bookstore manager and an impassioned environmentalist. Michael Bachner advocated at Wabash College encouraging the community to recycle. He led educational kayak trips down Sugar Creek, exposing students to the power and beauty of nature as well as making them aware of local environmental concerns. In his role as Wabash Bookstore manager, he always supplied the community with a source of books by local naturalists, nature writers and reference books.


Overview of Management plan

NICHES goal for Bachner Nature Preserve include allowing trees  to mature and the forest to contribute to the greater Sugar Creek forest block.

Management of invasive species includes persistent attention to populations of invading Garlic Mustard.  Spring Garlic Mustard hand pulling is the major method of control. As Garlic Mustard seed may remain viable in the soil upwards of seven years, and each Garlic Mustard plant has the potential to set thousands of seeds, pulling before plants have an opportunity to flower or seed is essential to success.



From Crawfordsville, Take 32 West
Turning left on 325 W (Camp Rotary Rd.) in 1.5 miles
Turn right on 250 S (Offield Monument Rd.)
In 1.4 miles the parking lot will be on your right

The parking lot is actually a Indiana DNR property, Sugar Creek Access Point, parking lot, shared with NICHES Land Trust. (The parking lot entrance sign is for I.DNR. land and makes no mention of Bachner Nature Reserve.  Public visiting NICHES Bacher Reserve are welcome to park in the lot.)

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Bachner Nature Preserve

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Bachner Nature Preserve 39.998359, -86.989511 Bachner webpage (Directions)


Things to Bring With / Dress Considerations

Dress for exploring outdoors – comfortable all terrain shoes are recommended. Layers help prevent being overheated or chilled. Long pants and long sleeves prevent your skin being exposed to insect bites or plants that cause skin reactions. Bring waders or water shoes to explore in the creeks.  Submerged rocks can be slippery, and water currents can make wading difficult or dangerous, so use caution if entering creeks.

A water bottle ensures proper hydration.

A camera enables capturing of stunning natural landscape or nature pictures.

No restroom facilities at the property.

Practice ‘leave no trace’ exploring – if you carry an item on the property, carry it off again, including trash, food wrappers, beverage containers, etc.

Feel free to remove any trash you do find; collaborative effort helps keep properties free of litter.


Local Features of Interest Nearby

town of Crawfordsville, IN

  • Carnegie Library Museum