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Views and opinions: Knobstone Trail gets new trailhead inside Dreams SRA
 

 

Hikers will now be able to access the 58-mile Knobstone Trail in southern Indiana from a new, permanent trailhead inside Deam Lake State Recreation Area.

The new trailhead is at the parking lot for the Buzzard Roost shelter house, just west of the Deam Lake dam, replaces a temporary trailhead previously located east of the dam on Wilson Switch Road.

The Knobstone (aka KT) is Indiana’s longest footpath. It winds through working forests, nature preserves and Fish & Wildlife (FWA) and State Recreation (SRA) areas. Managed by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Division of Forestry, the trail runs from Jackson-Washington State Forest and Delaney Park near Salem, in the north, through Elk Creek FWA and Clark State Forest properties, to Deam Lake near Borden, in the south.

The new trailhead will act as the “southern gate” to the KT, according to Deam Lake SRA Assistant Property Manager Derek Spanton. “Improved signage makes the trailhead easier to locate,” he said. “Hikers will also appreciate the paved parking area that will be monitored by security.”

The new location will also make it easier for hikers to explore the rest of Deam Lake SRA. In addition to the trail, the property offers camping, a swimming beach, rowboat rental, boating access, fishing and access to many other hiking and horse trails.

Many people and several organizations, including the Knobstone Hiking Trail Assoc,, volunteered labor to help build the trailhead and maintain the trail. “We’d like to extend our gratitude to everyone who offered their time and talent to make this new trailhead possible,” Spanton said.

Knobstone Trail maps are available for purchase at Deam Lake SRA, Clark State Forest, Jackson-Washington State Forest, Starve Hollow SRA and at Delaney Park. Maps may also be purchased at the DNR customer service center by calling 317-232-4200.

DNR reclamation donates to needy kids

Underprivileged children at Shakamak Elementary School in Greene County received toys and food thanks to the generosity of the DNR Division of Reclamation.

A Christmas raffle and silent auction raised $1,320, and was split between a parent-teacher organization’s Christmas program and the school’s Brown Bag program. The Christmas program provides toys and clothes to kids in need, and the Brown Bag provides take-home food to children who are living with food insecurity.

Together, the programs benefit 75 children. “I like to think that we all just made their Christmas a little bit brighter,” said Mark Stacy, a supervisor in DNR Reclamation.

The division also collected several large bags of toys, which were given to the school, and a large box of food was donated to a local food pantry. Since 2000, the division has donated more than $20,000 to local families as a result of its annual Christmas raffle.

The DNR Division of Reclamation administers the surface coal mining laws for the state of Indiana. Its field office is in Jasonville, in Greene County.

Eagles are tops for early 2018

Greet the morning with bald eagles at Mississinewa Lake’s annual Sunrise Eagle Watch, Jan. 20. Bird lovers should meet at the Miami SRA boat launch at 6:30 a.m. to caravan to the largest documented bald eagle roost in Indiana. Participants should dress for the weather and bring binoculars, cameras and spotting scopes.

After the Sunrise Eagle Watch, eat “Breakfast with the Birds.” A meal will be served at 9:30 a.m. at the Mississinewa office in Miami SRA. Birds from Salamonie Raptor Center will be present. Donations will be accepted.

Registration is required by calling 260-468-2127. Handicapped parking is available at the roost; please make requests during registration.

For more information on other Upper Wabash Interpretive Services (UWIS) programs, visit www.dnr.IN.gov/uwis or Facebook.com/UpperWabash. Mississinewa Lake is located at 4673 S. 625E., Peru, IN 46970.

Also, see bald eagles Feb. 10-11 with staff from UWIS. Participants in the field exercise will meet at Salamonie Interpretive Center at 3 p.m. on both days, listen to a brief overview of Indiana’s bald eagles and then caravan to the roost.

Participants should dress for the weather and bring binoculars, cameras and spotting scopes. There will be some walking on paved road. Any participants needing handicapped parking should request it upon registration. Porta-pots will be available. Participants may leave the site at any time.

For safety, Frances Slocum Road between State Road 124 and Miami County Road 550 E. will be closed for the event. For more information and to register, call 260-468-2127. The UWIS is located at 3691 S. New Holland Road, Andrews, IN 46702.

 

The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of Farm World. Readers with questions or comments may contact Jack Spaulding by email at jackspaulding@hughes.net or by writing to him in care of this publication.

1/11/2018