Don Bickel: Bachner Reserve Update

Don Bickel: Bachner Nature Reserve Update
Journal Review 8/4/2009
by Don Bickel

The Bachner Nature Preserve, Montgomery County’s newest wildlife habitat area and canoe launch site has received many favorable reports from those who have visited the area.

This writer, several weeks past, walked from the parking area to Sugar Creek. This is not a hop, skip and jump — but yet the distance is not too great. Concerning the walk (hike) from the parking area to the shoreline of Sugar Creek; follow the gravel path which will lead and end at a small stream. Water flows through here when the Creek is high.

At this point, if the hiker is carrying a canoe or dragging one, the hike is one half completed. To continue straight ahead, means, at this time of year, following a semi-beaten path through stinging nettles, tall grass and various tall weeds and saplings.

My suggestion: At the end of the gravel path, turn right and walk the small stream bed northward toward Sugar Creek, a short distance with little vegetation interference. To turn left would mean wading through a hole of 1 1/2 to 2 foot water which remains when the remainder of the bypass stream is nearly dry.

Again another suggestion — for what’s its worth — spray a four foot wide path with Roundup in the spring as green-up begins. This would be done on a straight line to the Creek and would be repeated mid-summer unless foot traffic kept the vegetation down. This island is sand and the use of any wood chip mulch on the path would serve little long-lasting purpose, since the first high water event would wash it away. This would be a volunteer project.

Once Sugar Creek is reached by whatever path, a long, wide sand and gravel shoreline awaits the canoer, angler or hiker. It is an ideal location — that changes with each flood — for hunting crinoids stems (Indian beads) and geodes.Or just some purty rocks.

For the angler, much shoreline access is available and for the wading angler, either upstream or downstream, many fish-holding pools will be found.

Ron Johnson, Conservation Officer

As Don has mentioned things are going well around the area of the nature preserve and public access. Conservation Officer Blaine Gillan and I have been keeping a close eye on the area since its begining. Lots of people have asked me where the new access is located and as the summer progressed I noticed more and more people using the access site. There has been very litte problems that we know of. There have been some locals who want to park in the access parking lot and set up camp on private property across the creek. This is not the purpose for what the access is to be used for plus it's going to create problems with the adjoining landowners, so Officer Gillan and I have been working on this. A couple of weeks ago one of these campers using the parking area got silly one night and drove into a light pole breaking it off. Oddly the driver parked back at the access parking lot and I found the damaged vehicle the next day. If anyone notices anything that doesn't seem right or out of the ordinary or an outright violation in or around the nature preserve or access site, contact one of us. Anyone can email us with information at: rjohnson@dnr.in.gov or bgillan@dnr.in.gov