Northeast Indiana Birding Opportunities - Eagle Marsh Nature Preserve

Eagle Marsh is a 756-acre wetland nature preserve located on the southwest border of Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Eagle Marsh Nature Preserve on Indiana Birding Trail


Ten+ miles of trails allow hikers to access the preserve's varied habitats of shallow-water wetland, sedge meadow, prairie, mature forest and young trees. With adjacent Fox Island County Park and other privately-owned natural land, Eagle Marsh creates almost two square miles of habitat for birds and other wildlife.

A berm, built in 2015 by the US Corps of Engineers in an effort to prevent Asian carp from crossing into the Great Lakes watershed, is topped by the Continental Divide Trail. This trail, accessed from a parking lot off Engle Road, combined with a part of Trail 1 and the Towpath Trail (a remnant of canal days, now part of Fort Wayne Trails) is three-mile hike that provides a good overview of the preserve.

Other trails in the east end are accessible from the parking lot. The parking lot of the BSA Scouts office provide access to trails at the west end of the property.

eBird Hotspot Link:

Total Birding Time:
1-4 Hours

Best Times to Bird: 
 Migrant ducks are found February through April, peaking in March; smaller numbers come October through December. Shorebirds are found mostly April through June, and July into October. Marsh birds, such as rails, bitterns and herons occur beginning in April and May, some continuing into the summer.


Address: 6801 Engle Road, Fort Wayne, IN 46804.
Hours: sunrise to sunset.
Ownership: Little River Wetlands Project.
Admission: No admission fee. At the east end, the gate across the lane to the Barn is often closed, but the public may walk in anyway. If the gate is open and you drive in, be sure you don’t get locked in.
Restrictions: No dogs or other pets, hunting, fishing, biking, motorized vehicles (except to the Barn during special events), horseback riding, alcohol, drugs, weapons, camping, campfires, and all collecting.
Parking: noted above.
Nearby amenities: The only restrooms are portable toilets behind the Barn. The preserve is on the edge of Fort Wayne, so there are many hotels and restaurants nearby. Especially close ones are clustered around the intersection of I 69 and West Jefferson Boulevard.
Accessibility: There are no paved trails.
Phone number: (260) 478-2515

Written by: Ed Powers
Photo by: April Raver