The other day we went to the Sycamore Land Trust’s Amy Weingartner Branigin Peninsula Preserve, which is a favorite of ours. It turns out it is also a favorite of a great many other persons. So much so, that the Sycamore Land Trust had to recently close it to visitors on the weekends. And, of course, it was the weekend when we last went. This is not a permanent closure and it will re-open when Covid conditions permit. So, in lieu of more recent photos, I dug out some photos that we took on a prior visit in the early autumn.
The preserve is very close to Bloomington and is an easy drive. Take SR 446 south from Bloomington, go past the Scenic View restaurant on the right, pass the 446 Marine and Lake Monroe Boat Storage on the left, and pass the caution sign for Salt Creek Dr. The next caution sign will be for a left turn to East Rush Ridge Rd. After the turn you will quickly come to an intersection with East Rush Ridge FORK, bear left to stay on the very twisty Rush Ridge ROAD. According to Google, the very small parking lot for the preserve is .8 miles from that intersection. Go early because unlike the Porter West Preserve there is no on street parking outside of the small parking lot.
We thought it was an easy walk (and we’re no mountain climbers) along a relatively flat gravel road. From the parking lot to the tip of the peninsula it is about 1.1 miles. There is a bench midway along the path.
It was very windy the day these photos were taken, especially on the windward side of the peninsula. On the lee side, however, it was relatively calm.
There is a great view from the tip of the peninsula. The Charles Deam Wilderness peninsula is directly across the water. If you can manage a fairly strenuous hike the wilderness area is really wonderful and well worth putting on your to-do list.