Central Indiana Birding Opportunities -Stone Head Nature Preserve

Stone Head Nature Preserve is a 122-acre nature preserve in Brown County, located just southeast of the much larger Brown County State Park.

Stone Head Nature Preserve on Indiana Birding Trail

It is owned by the Stone Head Nature Conservancy, which maintains the nature preserve for the public to enjoy.

The preserve is most notable for two main features. The first being the “Zimmerman Wetlands,” which host many common wetland species of bird, which can be harder to find in the more typical rolling forest habitat of this part of the state. The preserve also hosts beautiful steep bluff, deep woods, elevated above the middle fork of Salt Creek.

To access the south portions of the property, you must cross the creek. There is no bridge, so visitors must either wade through the water, take one’s boots/socks off, or bring “muck” boots. Plastic bags can also be used to keep your feet dry and simply leave them on the banks for the return crossing. Those that cross the creek will find great forest nesting habitat for many traditional southern nesters, such as Kentucky Warbler, Yellow-throated Warbler, and Prairie Warbler.

The fall can be worth visiting, as the early successional habitat surrounding the wetlands can host a good diversity and abundance of sparrows. October is the best time to visit for late fall migrant songbirds.

eBird Hotspot Link:

Total Birding Time:
1-2 hours

Best Times to Bird: 
Stone Head is best visited in the spring and fall. Nesting birds can be found in June and July.


4643-5013 W Bellsville Pike
Nashville, IN 47448
To access the property, travel State Road 46 east of Nashville. After passing Brown County State Park, travel south on State Road 135. 135 tees into Bellsville Pike at the sanctuary.

Hours: The preserve is open dawn to dusk every day.
Ownership: Stone head Nature Conservancy
Admission: General admission is $2.00 per vehicle, and $.50 for walk ins.
Restrictions: Be aware of hunting seasons, this is an active hunting location. No access before 1pm during spring turkey hunting season. Please obey all rules and regulations. Maps and rules are always available at the headquarters.
Parking: Most visitors will park at the main lot, by the Stone Head vacation rental (private residence).
Nearby Amenities: Limited amenities on site. Nashville, approximately ten minutes away, has gas, food, and lodging.
Accessibility: The trails near the parking lot are mowed and flat, but no other accessibility is available.
Website: stoneheadconservancy.org
Phone Number: (812) 340-5077

Written by: Brad Bumgardner
Photo by:
Joni James