"ACRES reserves are not parks or gardens; they are outdoor museums where nature takes her course."
John W. Klotz, ACRES President, 1968
The foremost priority for ACRES nature preserves is protection of the native plants, native wildlife and the natural formations. Rules are set along the lines of those used by Indiana's Division of Nature Preserves of the Department of Natural Resources set up under state code I.C. 14-31-1. ACRES staff, volunteers, and law enforcement officers patrol our preserves to ensure the preserves are protected.
Please be aware you will be visiting privately-owned property being maintained with trails and viewing areas in order to allow you to experience natural habitats not as easily accessible elsewhere. The understanding is that all visitors will leave the habitat undisturbed so the plants and the animal communities will stay in their natural state and will be available for future generations as a natural and educational resource.
The following describes activities prohibited on our nature preserves:
- Do not leave designated trails, viewing sites or assembly areas.
- Do not remove or destroy any plants, wildlife, minerals, fossils or any other natural objects.
- No hunting, fishing, trapping, camping, cutting trees or building fires.
- Do not pick the wildflowers or mushrooms.
- Do not disturb the animals or the bird nests.
- Do not climb on any natural formations.
- No motorized vehicles, bicycles, or horses are allowed on the trails.
- No placing of letterboxes.
- No placing of geocaches without our expressed permission, permit required.
- Do not litter. Everything you bring in must leave with you.
- Do not bring dogs onto the property without a leash.
- Do not leave your children unsupervised.
- Preserve hours are from dawn to dusk.
- Do enjoy the following recreational activities, as long as they are done only on the trails, viewing sites or assembly areas: hiking, bird watching, and cross-country skiing.
- Do visit often. The preserves change with the seasons.
- Do bring friends.
- Do record your visits on the visitor sheets. We review comments to determine how best to maintain the properties. Our visitor count helps us maintain our non-profit status and apply for grants; this and the attendance from our hikes and programs show we are fulfilling our purpose as an educational organization.
- Do participate in ACRES activities.
- Do volunteer to help in work parties, educational functions and promoting our mission.
- Do be an ACRES Angel: We greatly appreciate visitors who help us as they visit by picking up litter they see, throwing fallen branches off of the trails, and telling us if they see fallen trees or other large obstructions on a trail, signs of vandalism, or individuals misusing the preserves.
ACRES allows certain individuals off-trail for preserve maintenance and scientific research.
You must get specific permission from the ACRES administration before doing so!