The 179-acre property situated along the Wabash River in eastern Warren County features open oak savannas, wooded slopes, old fields dotted with boulders deposited by glaciers and a wonderful space to connect with nature. Among the natural area are 100 acres of bottom-lands planted with 30,000 trees May of 2000 returns to native forest habitat, and a 12-acre grassland area restored to native tall grass prairie.
Beginning near the parking lot at the northeast corner of the property a trail meanders through the prairie, down the slope through the savanna and loops back up the slope returning the prairie and ending at the parking lot. Wildlife populates the habitat relying on the interdependent relationships between plant community, microclimate, geology and hydrology of the area. Many special or rare plants live in the savanna and prairie and benefit from the reintroduction of controlled burns effectively reducing the competition from aggressive and nonnative plants.
Weiler-Leopold Nature Preserve refers to the renowned former owners, two families with strong ties to conservation and land management. The family of Emanuel Weiler, founding dean of Purdue’s School of Management and the Krannert Graduate School once owned a section of the property. The family of A. Carl Leopold, an internationally known plant physiologist and son of the renowned naturalist Aldo Leopold also owned a section of the land. Acquired in 1999 with the support of the Indiana Heritage Trust, the Roy Whistler Foundation, the Sycamore Audubon Society, the Weiler, Leopold, and Sanna families, and nearly two hundred additional individuals, families, groups,and businesses, Weiler-Leopold holds place among the earliest owned by NICHES Land Trust. The acreage includes rich biodiversity and a collection of native habitats including prairie and oak savanna.
The Nature Preserve sits adjacent to the later acquired NICHES property Black Rock Barrens, and Birdfoot Barrens Nature Preserve, making a combined 300 acres of protected habitat.
“All ethics so far evolved rest upon a single premise: that the individual is a member of a community of interdependent parts. The land ethic simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants and animals, or collectively the land.” The Land Ethic (1949) by Aldo Leopold
Overview of Management plan
Maintain a healthy habitat for native plant and animal species through planting native plants, carefully monitoring plant populations, and controlling invasive species population.
Improve public understanding of ecosystems by encouraging exploration through educational and recreational activities.
Things to Bring With / Dress Considerations
Dress for hiking with comfortable shoes, that in many seasons or weather conditions may get wet. Wear layers as the path travels through shady woods and sunny meadow and prairie. Bring a water bottle.
Mosquitoes and biting insects are present – so wear long sleeves or consider applying insect repellent.
Many birds and wildlife live in wood, savanna, meadow, and prairie so bring binoculars and a camera.
No restroom facilities.
Practice ‘leave no trace’ hiking – if you carry an item on the property, carry it off again, including trash, food wrappers, beverage containers, etc.
From Lafayette/West Lafayette take South River Road/Division Road west across US 231 and follow that for 8.3 miles to the Ravines Golf Course at S 875 W and take a left. Follow S 875 W passed Ross Hills Park and curve right onto W 50 S. Take the next left onto 925 W and follow that passed Ross Camp and curve right onto W 75 S. Take the next left onto S 950 W and follow that across the Tippecanoe/Warren County line. When you cross into Warren County S 950 W becomes E 350 N. At the next intersection with N 1100 E take a
left and follow the road for 0.7 miles, around the next curve. The shared parking lot for Black Rock Barrens and Weiler-Leopold will be on your left a short distance after you round the curve.
From Attica/Williamsport turn onto SR 55 from SR 28/41 and cross the bridge over Big Pine Creek. Take the first right onto E Independence Road. Follow Independence Road for 8.8 miles. The parking area for Black Rock Barrens, Weiler-Leopold, and Kohnke’s Little Pine Creek will be on your right.
The coordinates for the parking lot are: N 40° 21.542′ – W 87° 06.968′.