Hike the Glacier Flats Trail at Spicer Lake Nature Reserve

2 miles  - Loop Trail

Added by Jenn Koczan

Just off of interstate 80/90 on the edge of St. Joseph County in North Central Indiana. The park is located 20 minutes to the west of Notre Dame and South Bend,  near the town of New Carlisle. The Spicer Lake Nature Preserve is the perfect place to stop and take a breather from the chaos of life. 

The Glacier Flats Trail is a 1.5 mile loop that guides you through the Old Field Trail and past the Buttonbrush Wetland and observation platform. You will continue along the trail past an open field and then into the woods. 

Along the way you will enjoy the colors of the wildflowers and likely an encounter with a turkey or white tailed deer. 

When you exit the woods you will continue on the other side of the field and then, if you chose, you may return to the parking lot. 

You may continue down the path of the Woodland Trail that connects to the Lancaster Trail. The Lancaster Trail will lead you to the Lancaster Lake pier that has an observation platform. The platform has a wooden bench where you can sit and enjoy the quiet. Lancaster Lake is relatively small in size and is surrounded by the prettiest and most healthy lilly pads you've probably ever seen. It's a really beautiful park. 

On the other side of the nature center, you will find the path to the boardwalk to Spicer Lake. The boardwalk ends at an observation platform where you can view the lake.  The boardwalk is 0.5 mile round trip. 

The Spicer Lake Nature Preserve has a trail system that consists of approximately 4 miles of trails. If you wanted to continue after your visit to the Lancaster Lake pier, you may continue on the trail that loops around the property and ends back at the Nature Center and parking lot.  There are several small trails that you can enjoy that lead you through the woods and along the wetland/marsh. 

The property also has a picnic pavilion and public restrooms that are open daily until the park closes for the day. You can find a board that contains maps of the property and several area guides on the wall near the back entrance of the nature center where you gain access to the restrooms.

Dogs are welcome on a leash no longer than six feet. 

This little park is worth the visit. It is rarely crowded and it's not uncommon to be the only visitor on the property. 

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Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Handicap Accessible
Picnic Area


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Overall rating: 

The whole park is very nice, peaceful and quiet

The marshland is beautiful! There are woodland trails, marshland, glacier flats, and even a prairie area ( I do 2 miles without the prairie as I prefer to stay out of the sun). There are two lakes here, Lancaster and Spicer. There's a handicap accessible boardwalk out to Spicer Lake...about a quarter mile long. It's a very peaceful and quiet park, quite often I'm the only one there. The trails are a little hilly at times but very easy.

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