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Accessible Wildlife Viewing

10 great accessible wildlife viewing areas on DNR properties:

State Parks

Clifty Falls State Park – Clifty Falls ADA Overlook & Colorblind Viewers at Lookout Point – Stunning views of Clifty Falls at the ADA overlook. Accessible parking and bathrooms available near the playfield and near the overlook. Follow the paved section of Trail 7 to the lookout point. A paved trail is available around the playfield as well for guests' enjoyment. Guests can drive to accessible Lookout Point, where colorblind viewers are available. There are many types of color blindness, but for most, red and green appear gray. The lenses allow those who are color blind to see the reds and greens in nature, which will be stunning through the summer and fall seasons. Accessible parking available, but no bathrooms.

Indiana Dunes State Park – Bird Observation Platform – Situated above Dunes Prairie Nature Preserve and Lake Michigan, this is a wonderful place to spot diverse wildlife and view the beautiful lake. The ramp has a minimum 60 inches width for passing space and handrails. The slope is no greater than 5%. Accessible parking and arrival/drop-off area is available. Accessible bathrooms are available at or near the Pavilion, which is on the beach.

Prophetstown State Park – Scenic Viewpoints – Enjoy several stops along the paved bike trail for scenic viewpoints. Accessible parking is near the first viewpoint at the parking lot at the end of the main road. Travel along the paved bike path to the first lookout at Harrison Creek—this is also near the accessible Circle of Stones. Continue down the bike path for a scenic viewpoint of the Tippecanoe River.

Versailles State Park – Bradt Nature Area Observation Deck and Trail –  the scenic and secluded Brandt Natural Area is a 1.75 mile drive from the park entrance. Parking is available, but there are no restrooms. Follow paved Trail 1 until it branches to Trail 2 where stable surface compacted gravel continues to the accessible lake overlook. The accessible portion of the trails contains less than 2% cross slopes, grades no greater than 5%, and widths no less than 60 inches. The rest of Trail 2 is a natural surface trail with mowed grass or dirt.

Fish & Wildlife Areas (FWAs)

Goose Pond FWA Interpretive Trail & Binoculars – A ¼ mile, blacktopped trail runs through the prairie right outside the visitors center doors. The trail features a minimum width of 5 foot throughout, maximum slopes of 15%, and interpretive signs. The trail is near the accessible parking lot and begins beside two viewing stations with stationary binoculars set at two different heights. The visitors center has restrooms and interpretive displays inside.

Jasper-Pulaski FWA Sandhill Crane Observation Area: – The observation area is a place where visitors can enjoy watching the cranes fly over, land, socialize, and frolic. A ¼ mile shaded, asphalt interpretive trail runs from the main crane area parking lot to the accessible lot and observation platform. The parking lot at the base of the observation platform has 21 parking spaces, many of which are van accessible. A wide ramp with handrails leads to the top of the observation platform. The platform has a spotting scope as well as a bump-out area with lower railings that allows wheelchair users to view the cranes without any visual barriers. From October to December, there are two portable toilets placed in the crane observation area’s parking lot, and one is always a wider unit. For guests who want to rest or relax, there are two picnic tables at ground level and a bench mounted on the platform.

Pigeon River FWA Waterfowl Resting Area Overlook – The overlook is a parking area in Steuben County that overlooks approximately 400 acres of a 600-acre wetland/upland complex. The area has a large, paved parking lot (parking lot L2) as well as a bench for resting. The overlook also includes a kiosk where maps are available. While the complex is off limits to public entrance, visitors can use the overlook to observe the refuge for wildlife and to spot birds such as sandhill cranes, waterfowl, trumpeter swans, bald eagles, and the occasional white pelicans on their migration stopover.

Tri-County FWA Pisgah Marsh Boardwalk – This is an accessible walkway 4 miles south of Tri-County FWA that allows guests to view a natural wetland ecosystem. The 6-foot-wide boardwalk has gentle slopes and built-in benches for resting. The entire boardwalk is made of wood, except for its entrance near the parking lot. The property has van accessible parking, as well as accessible restrooms. A roundtrip visit on the boardwalk is approximately .5 miles long. Interpretive signs guide guests along the short walk, which ends at a large viewing platform from which wildlife can be seen all over the marsh.

Wabashiki FWA Dewey Point Managed by the Vigo County Parks and Rec Department, Dewey Point overlooks Wabashiki FWA’s wetlands. The area features two accessible parking spots with unloading zones. A spotting scope is mounted in the area, set at an eye height for wheelchair users. A 52-inch-wide ramp leads to the spotting scopes and has a toe/kick board that keeps wheeled devices on the ramp. There are also two accessible bathrooms.

Nature Preserves

Loblolly Marsh Nature Preserve Trail – Loblolly Marsh’s 440 acres comprise dry mesic upland forest, bottomland forest, tallgrass prairie, pothole wetland, and emergent wetland habitats. Located 5 miles southwest of Limberlost State Historic Site in Geneva, it features an accessible trail that begins at the nature preserve’s paved parking lot, which includes van accessible parking. A total of 1/4 mile long, the trail’s first paved 0.05 miles take you through a prairie and up to a bench and boardwalk over the pothole wetland. The remainder of the trail is gravel and continues through the prairie, running over a small stream and ending at an overlook with a bench providing a view of an emergent wetland.

Birdability Map

The Birdability Map is a crowdsourced map that describes in detail the accessibility features of birding locations all over the world. It is a work in progress that anyone can contribute to by submitting a Birdability Site Review.

The Birdability Map is based on the most recent information provided to Birdability and National Audubon by local contributors. Trail conditions change, and each site may pose challenges unique to users with disabilities or other health concerns, in addition to the inherent risks associated with outdoor recreation that apply to everybody. Please check current trail conditions, exercise caution, and proceed at your own risk.

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