Fox Island Nature Preserve – Fort Wayne, Indiana - Atlas Obscura

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Fox Island Nature Preserve

Discover a beautiful natural paradise, minutes away from a thriving city.  


Nearly 300 acres of forest and wetlands make up this peaceful nature preserve on the outskirts of Fort Wayne, Indiana. The calm forests and open meadows are perfect for a fun family hike or picnic.

Marshes and swamps border a dune that developed more than 10,000 years ago after the retreat of the Wisconsin Glacier. As the glacier moved and melted away, winter winds picked up tiny bits of sand that piled into large drifts known as sluice dunes. Though most of these drifts are gone now,  but Fox Island is home to an impressive sluice dune. It extends the length of the park, and stands 40 feet above the marsh at its highest point.

Summer weather brings with it the chance to enjoy swimming at Bowman Lake. Fall is when the colors come alive, with trees ablaze in every hue. Snowy winters offer lots of chances for cross-country skiing. Spring brings new flowers and the return of wildlife, and a chance to rediscover the miles of trails with wildflowers in bloom. Check out the nature center, bird observatory, and geogarden.

Know Before You Go

The park offers picnic shelters with grills, restrooms, fishing, boat rental, playgrounds, and a doggie beach. Pets are not allowed in the state nature preserve, but are welcome in the park's picnic areas.

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