Pecan Basin Cates/Clawson Reserve


A 155-acre property edging the Wabash River in southwestern Fountain County that includes 3/8 of a mile of river frontage with mature floodplain forest. Bottom land fields, previously corn/ bean production when NICHES purchased the land, were reforested in 2001.  The restored forest offers a natural buffer along the edge of the river, while providing habitat for native flora and fauna.  East of the property parking lot and across the road a mature upland forest retains a variety of native plants, which now have an expanded area in which to spread and thrive.

A short section of the Wabash and Erie Canal cuts across Pecan Basin, north to south,  with towpath is still present.  An up-slope section of the Wabash and Erie Canal land was reforested in 2001 also, contributing to the contiguous section of native forest habitat.

A half-mile paved handicap accessible asphalt loop trail leads from the parking lot to the corner of the old Wabash and Erie Canal and back. Across the road a and up the hill, offers a wonderful panorama of the Wabash River Valley.


History of Acquisition and Property

An excellent example of collaborative partnerships fostering conservation efforts, NICHES Land Trust acquired Pecan Basin December 2000 with the assistance of grants from the Wabash River Heritage Corridor Commission, the Roy L. Whistler Foundation, and the Covington Community Foundation.

Ducks Unlimited reforested the bottom lands with the help of a grant from Cinergy Corporation. Pheasants Forever supplied native grass seeds for reseeding six acres of bottomland under the high tension power lines.


Overview of Management plan

Reforestation of bottom land fields. Maintain forest rich with native plant diversity.

Provide public access to native habitats and Indiana waterways.


Directions to Pecan Basin

From Perrysville, take State Road 32 east to Silver Island Road (the first road to the right). Follow the river south on this road for 1 1/2 miles to its intersection with Liberty Church Road, Pecan Basin’s southern boundary. The lowlands are to your right, the uplands to your left.

The coordinates for the parking lot are: N 40° 01.584′ , W 87° 25.103′.

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Pecan Basin: Cates-Clawson Reserve

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Pecan Basin: Cates-Clawson Reserve 40.026700, -87.418624 Pecan Basin 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.

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

  • Turkey Run State Park is twelve miles southeast of Pecan Basin
  • The Indiana Department of Natural Resources’s Portland Arch, a dedicated state Nature Preserve, lies fifteen miles to the north