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 Swamp Nature Preserve became Indiana's 298th state-dedicated preserve in 2023. 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 1,800 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.


Address: Loblolly Marsh Nature Preserve: 8323 N Co Rd 250 W, Bryant, IN 47326; Limberlost Swamp Wetland Preserve: 507 W Co Rd 1200 S, Geneva, IN 46740.
Directions: Loblolly Marsh Nature Preserve
 is three miles west of Bryant on Hwy 18, turn north on Co. Rd 250W, and travel ½ mile to the parking lot. Limberlost Swamp Wetland Preserve is about 1 mile south of Limberlost State Historic Site off of US 27 to Co. Rd 1200S and turn west about ½ mile. Wetlands are on both sides of the road. Parking lot is on the north side of the road.
Hours: Dawn to Dusk at the preserves. Visitor Center is open 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday.
Ownership: Indiana Department of Natural Resources Nature Preserves and Friends of the Limberlost
Admission: Free
Restrictions: Roads can flood in heavy rains.
Parking: Parking lot at Loblolly Marsh and Limberlost Swamp Wetland Preserve
Nearby Amenities: The Limberlost Visitor Center has restrooms. There also are restrooms at nearby gas stations in Geneva and Bryant. Geneva has a 24-hour Casey’s General Store. There are local restaurants in Geneva, Berne, Bryant, and Portland, including the 24-hour Jinny's Café.
Website: Birding with Gene – free App/Book
Phone Number: 260-368-7428
eBird Hotspot Link: Limberlost Swamp Wetland Preserve,; Loblolly Marsh,

Written by: Terri Gorney Lehman