Fox Island Is Waiting For You!
Nestled on the southwest side of Fort Wayne on Yohne Rd exists a 605-acre park where you may find yourself amongst hundreds of unique plants, animals, and scenery. Fox Island is the largest contiguous forest in Allen County making it a special landmark to visit. The admission cost is only $2.00 per person (with the exception of those who are 7 or under who can enter for free). This county park holds a lot of activity, but not just for the plants and animals that live there! There are a bounty of activities for the public to participate in as spring settles over this unique and natural wonderland.
Springtime is an exceptionable time to step into the outdoors. Fox Island Park and Education Manager, Natalie Haley, reiterated this thought when she expressed her excitement, ¨Listening to the calls of the frogs and other amphibians, you hear the frogs and you know it’s finally spring!¨
Fox Island holds seven miles of marked trails where you can stroll and watch as the world around you begins to come alive transforming from its winter slumber into a flourishing growth of life. The county park holds a variety of landscapes for you to enjoy, each with its own unique marvel. You will find marshland, pine plantation, ponds, wetland forest, wooded sand dunes, and various fields. However, the park is not all wilderness – you will also find a roomy Nature Center that holds classrooms of all sizes, conference rooms, education offices, and a gift shop for you to stop and peruse. Picnic shelters and campfire pits are also found at designated locations within the park. Bowman Lake may be a bit cold to swim in during the early parts of spring, but fishing is allowed as long as you possess a valid Indiana fishing license and pay an additional $2.00 per person. The crew at Fox Island have even thought of a special spot you can take your dog for a dip.
Down at the southside of the lake you will find Doggie Beach where you are welcome to take your dog for a swim and afterward walk together along the surrounding trails. All dogs must be on a leash except for when swimming.
Guided hikes are offered for the public to learn more about our natural environment. In the spring, if you find yourself on one of these hikes you may learn what life inside a pond truly looks like, how to search for salamanders and their eggs, and the name and uses for certain wildflowers. Haley has also been working hard on providing the public with activities to learn about the geological and cultural history of the park. ¨We want people to know the natural history, but also the cultural history. This gives people a sense of place when they come here.¨
Birding is also an exciting activity where you can learn how to feed the birds, what plants benefit them, and how to use technology to see our feathered friends.
If you are as glad as I am that spring has sprung and are looking for a beautiful place to enjoy the sun and learn about nature, cruise down to Fox Island. Haley reminds us about the benefits of Fox Island, ¨It is a peaceful scenic well cared for place that is close to home. You don’t have to drive out of Fort Wayne to find a place like this. It is here for your mental and physical wellbeing. Any time I’m having a bad day I can walk on one of the trails for 15 minutes and come back feeling extremely good.¨
Do yourself some good and visit Fox Island. It is open to all, currently from 9am to 7pm until Memorial Day where they will then extend their hours to 9pm. For more specific information on volunteering, Nature Center hours, annual passes, and more call 260-449-3180. Take the opportunity to explore the world around you as it comes to life this spring.
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