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Prophetstown State Park
Experience Prophetstown State Park in Indiana
A few hundred years ago, tall grass prairies were a common sight in portions of the American midwest, including northwestern Indiana. Of course, many things have changed since then, not the least of which is the use of such fertile soil for farm land. Of course, there have been efforts to preserve or restore some of this prairie in recent years.
Near Lafayette/West Lafayette, Indiana, Prophetstown State Park was established in 2004 as one of those restoration projects. Learn a bit more about it and enjoy a few photographs of the area here.
Prophetstown State Park is located just east of interstate 65 somewhat northwest of Lafayette/West Lafayette Indiana. It is bordered on the south side by the Wabash River and on the east by the Tippecanoe River. (You can get directions below.)
The park is dedicated to restoring the prairie habitat native to the area. Indigenous prairie grasses and wildflowers have been restored to the area and non-native trees are gradually being phased out. Pictures of some of the wildflowers are displayed below.
The area is flat and easy to hike or bike. The park offers three picnic/playground areas as well as a large campground.
A variety of birds and other small animals call the park home. Deer can often be spotted here as well.
The tiny town of Battleground lies adjacent to the park and the Tippecanoe Battleground Park is nearby. For hikers, the Wabash Heritage Trail also takes off from the Battelground Memorial and provides 13 miles of hiking near the Wabash River.
Because Prophetstown is primarily a prairie, most of the land is dedicated to regrowing this habitat. There are two hiking trails at this time that place you in the midst of this grassland. Trail 1 is 2.25 miles long. The first section of the trail passes through a small wooded area (pictured above). It's a small winding footpath that then opens up onto the prairie.
Trail 2 can be picked up at the southeast end of Trail 1. It continues further east and is 1.9 miles in length. Hiking trails through the prairie are generally a path of grass that's cut short to allow you to navigate straight through the tall grasses. Some areas can become quite wet following heavy rainfall. Obviously grasses are shorter in the spring and taller in the summer and fall. The photos on this page were taken during early June when grass height is only moderate.
There is also a paved bike trail which runs 3.2 miles (pictured here), nearly the entire length of the park itself. The bike trail can be picked up from any parking area within Prophetstown.
The Wildflowers at Prophetstown - Click on Thumbnails to View PhotosClick thumbnail to view full-size
More to See
Visitors to Prophetstown can see more than the natural beauty of the prairie. There is also the Historic Prophetstown area which includes the Wabash Valley Living History Farm. Tours of the 1920's farm house, barn, smoke house, chicken coop, and so forth are all available. There are a number of special events throughout the year, such as barn dances, storytelling, and clinics for things like bread baking, draft horse work, threshing, photography, woodstove cooking, and more.
In addition there is a Native American Village. It includes the restored remnants of a Native American Federation run village from the early 1800's. It features the Chief's Cabin, council house and medicine lodge that are all within an easy walk from the farmstead.