Find your grounding at a nature preserve this fall

By Shawndra Miller, communications manager, Central Indiana Land Trust

Countless studies have shown the many benefits of getting out in nature. With September being National Self-Care Awareness Month, it’s a great time to experience the healing power of nature.

Given all the stress of this contentious time in history, it’s more important than ever to find a way to ground and reset. Communing with the natural world is a wonderful way to do this.

Walking in nature – particularly forests – can boost mood and mental acuity, while bringing physical health benefits as well. And the natural world’s constancy can bring solace in uncertain times. No matter what, plants still flower, fruit, and fall. The seasons turn. These are things we can count on – an eternal regenerative process that brings comfort and perspective.

Experiencing the wonder of a nature preserve is a marvelous way to find this renewal. One way to do this is through the 2022 Trek our Trails Challenge, which features the best-loved nature preserves of the Central Indiana Land Trust, Inc.

Seek your self-care at these properties, finding details at

1. Burnett Woods (Avon): Check out the fall colors in this mature woods, which has an easy loop trail suitable for all ages.

2. The Fred and Dorothy Meyer Nature Preserve (Mooresville): Enjoy a moderately challenging hike with an expanded trail that traverses beautiful terrain.

3. The Laura Hare Preserve at Blossom Hollow (Trafalgar): Explore an unbroken forest block through this moderately difficult hike.

4. Meltzer Woods (Shelbyville): Gain a glimpse of our state as it looked centuries ago, with an easy walk through the old growth forest.

5. Nonie Werbe Krauss Nature Preserve (Fishers): Take an easy walk through young forest and grasslands in this property bordering the White River.

6. Oliver’s Woods (Indianapolis): Explore our newest public preserve, which features walking paths, White River views, an accessible trail, and a canoe launch.

Visit to plan your visits. Want to plant trees to offset the carbon from driving to these places? Make a contribution toward our Million Tree Initiative after inputting your mileage at

To complete the challenge, simply visit the preserves and take a photo of you and your companions at the sign or trailhead. Email the photo to Visit all six before Dec. 31 to receive a CILTI pin and the #trekourtrails2022 sticker, and to be entered into a drawing for CILTI logo gear.

Headquartered on the Old Northside, the Central Indiana Land Trust stewards nature preserves throughout the central third of the state. We strive to make our preserves welcoming to all. More information:

PHOTO ABOVE: The Fred and Dorothy Meyer Nature Preserve Trail. (Photo by Emily Wood)