Banner:  The Loblolly Nature Trail
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Welcome to the Loblolly Marsh
Wetland Preserve Virtual Nature Trail

Picture: A view of the Loblolly Marsh

"When I arrived, there were miles of unbroken forest. . . streams of running water, the road around the edges corduroy made by felling and sinking large trees in the muck. Then the Winter Swamp had all the lacy exquisite beauty of such locations when snow and frost draped, while from May until October it was practically tropical jungle."

-Gene Stratton-Porter
The Moths of the Limberlost, 1912

At one time, the Loblolly Marsh was a landscape more often than not covered with water. The marsh acted as a sponge, absorbing water and silt that otherwise would have caused floods. The area was also home to many different types of rare animals and insects.

However, this all changed in the early twentieth century when opportunists began to see the marsh not as a place of unique beauty, but rather as an untapped resource waiting to be developed. Thus, the marsh was drained, drilled for oil, and converted to farmland. Much of the land was farmed unsuccessfully for nearly a century.

Then, in 1997, the Limberlost Swamp Remembered group began restoration of over 400 acres of the original 13,000 acres of the Limberlost Swamp. Like the Miami Indians who used to inhabit the area, the group called the area the Loblolly, or "stinking river." Even though this 400-acre plot was only a small fraction of the original Limberlost Swamp, its restoration was needed to remind local residents of the benefits that wetlands provide. The area does not look the way it did when Mrs. Porter explored the marsh for the first time in the 1890s, but portions of the Limberlost may look similar someday.

Today, many different species of plants and animals live at the marsh. Even though the number of species that live there is a far cry from what once did, the reclaimed wetlands are still an excellent place to many plants and animals.

Please take time to virtually explore this unique landscape by clicking on the "Start your hike" or "Trail Map" links below. If you'd like to visit or obtain more information on the Loblolly Marsh Nature Preserve, click on the "Visit the Loblolly Marsh Wetland Preserve" link located at the bottom of every page.

Enjoy your hike!

Start your hike . . .


Stratton-Porter, Gene. Moths of the Limberlost. New York: Doubleday Page & Co., 1912.

The Loblolly Virtual Nature Trail was created as a part of the Our Land, Our Literature website.