Northeast Indiana Birding Opportunities - Limberlost Swamp Conservation Area

Both the Limberlost Swamp Wetland Preserve and the Loblolly Marsh Nature Preserve are part of what once was the 13,000 acre Limberlost Swamp that was made famous by author and naturalist Gene Stratton-Porter.

Limberlost Swamp Conservation Area Loblolly Marsh 
Limberlost State Historic Site is nearby to these preserves. There are also smaller preserves which make up the Limberlost Territory Nature Preserves for a total of about 1800 acres. If you are planning a trip to this area, and want a personalized visit, the rent-a-naturalist program at Limberlost State Historic Site is available for a small fee. This program is by reservation only.

Loblolly Marsh Nature Preserve was the 250th state dedicated nature preserve. It contains 463 acres. There are easy trails that total over 3 miles. This includes Veronica’s Trail which is a 2/3 mile (1/3 mile each way) ADA handicapped-accessible trail. The Loblolly Marsh includes marsh, woods, and prairie habitats.

Limberlost Swamp Wetland Preserve is 846 acres and has trails that total 3.6 miles (portions may go underwater in wet weather). The Deacon’s Trail allows one to walk back into the marsh. It may also be birded by car. This area continues to have rare bird sightings.

Website contains maps. Maps may also be found in the Visitor Center in a kiosk outside the building. On staff naturalist. Reporting of bird sightings is encouraged.

eBird Hotspot Links:
Limberlost Swamp Wetland Preserve
Loblolly Marsh

Total Birding Time:
1-4 Hours

Best Times to Bird: 
The Limberlost Area is a four-season birding site, with winter being good for sighting short-eared owls and northern harriers. March and April is good for waterfowl; May for migrating shorebirds. Sandhill Cranes migrate through in season. Bald eagles nest in both areas. Rare birds have been known to appear in all seasons.


8310 East 300 North
Mongo, IN 46771
State Road 120 runs east and west just north of the property and allows for easy access into the fish and wildlife area.

Hours: The area’s parking lots are open 24 hours a day. The FWA’s headquarters do not have a regular visiting schedule.
Ownership: Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Fish and Wildlife
Admission: There is no fee associated with birding Pigeon River FWA.
Restrictions: Be aware of hunting seasons, this is an active hunting location. Please obey all rules and regulations. Maps and rules are always available at the headquarters.
Parking: Please us designated parking lots. Many lots are available throughout the property.
Nearby Amenities: Restrooms are available at the park headquarters and at the Curtis Creek Trout Rearing Station (Both pit toilets) One gas pump and a variety of snacks are available at the convenience station in Mongo, Indiana.
Accessibility: There are no paved trails in Pigeon River FWA. Many birders walk along the quiet roads, however, there are no bike lanes and very little berm.
Phone Number: (260) 367-2164

Written by: Terri Gorney
Photo by: April Raver