In honor of National Public Lands Day, Sept. 29, Chain O’Lakes State Park is hosting a day of programs to showcase the new Glacial Esker Nature Preserve.

Glacial Esker Nature Preserve is approximately 731 acres of glacial land features and sensitive habitats. The esker is a long, winding sand and gravel ridge deposited by glacier meltwater. It is considered the best example of this geologic feature in the state. The esker provides an area for upland forests, a ridge top and ravines.

The nature preserve also features flat lowlands and floodplain forests with channels that connect a series of kettle lakes. It is home to several plants and animals on Indiana’s state-endangered and species of special concern lists.

All programs will begin at the Stanley Schoolhouse. The day’s schedule:

  • 8:30 a.m.: Morning Meander Hike of Trail 9 

The trail is a rugged three-quarter mile loop around Krieger Lake with scenic views of wetland and glacier remnants. The hike should last one hour.

  • 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Archaeology tours

The Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne Archaeological Survey is conducting an investigation to locate the Bowen homestead and a reported Native American village. Visitors can learn about the park’s cultural history, meet archaeologists, and possibly screen for artifacts. Tours will start every two hours.

  • 11 a.m: Photo contest open house 

All of the contest entries will be on display in the schoolhouse. The park will announce the winners and award prizes. Light refreshments will be served while supplies last.

  • 7:30 p.m.:  S’mores social campfire

Bring your own roasters and we’ll provide the fixings.  Enjoy an hour of campfire stories and games.

All programs are free. The standard entrance fee of $5 per in-state vehicle or $7 per out-of-state vehicle applies.

For more information, contact interpretive naturalist Leslie Arnold at (260) 636-2654 or

Chain O’Lakes State Park is at 2355 E. 75 South, Albion, 46701.

Logo courtesy Indiana Department of Natural Resources

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