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Nature Walk


The outdoor experience areas, including Nature Walk, are closed for the season and will open again on March 26, 2015. Please visit the indoor experience areas, Discovery Station, Create.Connect and Craft Corner, for year round fun and exploration.

Take a trek along the Nature Walk and discover a different view of the prairie! Explore Conner Prairie’s natural setting up close as you walk through a forest and along the top of a levee that is flanked by woods, farmland, prairie and the White River. Along the way you will discover plant and animal life that call this part of Conner Prairie their home. Take a break on one of several benches along the path, and stay quiet to listen for and spot different critters rustling around you. Talk about the importance of nature, and learn how land was used in the past by Native Americans and William Conner, and how it is being used today. At the end of the trail you will find the Lookout, an elevated observation deck, that provides a wonderful view of the restored prairie, which was created to attract certain migratory birds.

The Nature Walk trailhead is located between Prairietown and 1863 Civil War Journey, near the covered bridge. The distance from the trailhead to the Lookout, at the trail's end, and back is 2/3 mile long. If you walk from the Welcome Center to the Lookout and back to the Welcome Center, you've walked 1.2 miles! Grab one of our Adventure Backpacks, in the Welcome Center, loaded with activities, toys and tools to give young adventurers in the group more ways to discover nature.

Come Out and Play!

Hoof it on the Nature Walk for an interactive and engaging experience that links families with the outdoors and all that the natural world has to offer. In a society where many of our children (and adults!) are suffering from “Nature Deficit Disorder,” Conner Prairie has chosen to be a part of the national solution to “unplug” kids and reconnect them with trees, a new-born calf, a walk through the woods, or the feeling of wind in their faces.

Nature Walk Basics

What animals, birds and plants might I spot along the trail?
Since the Nature Walk occurs at the junction of several types of habitat (forest, river and prairie), there is a wide variety of plant and animal life you can see. Deer, squirrels, rabbits and chipmunks are common in the area. Bird species include ring-necks pheasant, red-tailed hawks, finches, warblers, sparrows, wrens and an occasional bald eagle.

Plant life includes several types of trees like oak, maple, locust and sycamore. Prairie grasses include little bluestem, Canada wild rye, rough dropseed and sideoats grama. See if you can find the following wildflowers...black-eyed susans, purple coneflowers, false sunflowers and sky-blue asters. 

Is there an additional fee to access the Nature Walk?
No. Access to the Nature Walk is included in the price of general admission. 

What is the terrain like on the trail?
The Nature Walk follows easy terrain with a moderately steep slope at the half-way mark. The remainder of the trail is fairly flat. The walk begins in a forest edge environment and travels through a forest, then along the White River, and ends overlooking the prairie.

What kind of shoes should I wear?

The path is paved with gravel and has a moderately steep slope in certain sections. Walking shoes or boots are strongly recommended for the Nature Walk; flip-flops or shoes with heels are not recommended. Individuals with mobility issues or difficulty walking steep slopes will want to use care on the Nature Walk. Five benches are located along the path for your convenience.

Are strollers and wheelchairs permitted?
 
Due to uneven terrain and steepness, it is strongly recommended that strollers, wheelchairs and other wheeled vehicles not be used on the trail.The path is paved with loose gravel which could cause wheeled implements to become stuck and may make the slope slippery.

Are pets allowed on the Nature Walk?
No, pets are not allowed on Conner Prairie's property.

What cautions should I take on the trail?

Please be aware that poison ivy can be found along the trail. Going off the trail may result in you becoming exposed.