Marion County was pretty much paved over decades ago, but nestled here and there are still some pockets of the natural life.
The most striking of these is a patch of ground at 8825 River Road that’s owned by the Central Indiana Land Trust.
It’s hemmed in by the six loud, fast lanes of I-465 and the cement jungle that is the Fashion Mall at Keystone. But it’s spectacular and wild. It feels like you’re in the sticks. It’s 53 acres. Trees cover it, wildflowers cover it. The White River meanders through it. Bald eagles pass over it.
The Land Trust calls it Oliver’s Woods for Oliver Daugherty, the man who could have sold it to developers for millions but didn’t because he wanted to preserve the pocket of nature where his family had lived for generations. Again and again, developers knocked on the door of the grand, old (but extremely dilapidated) family manse, and again and again, Daugherty ordered them off the premises. Oliver Daugherty died in 2009 (without heirs) at age 73. He left his property to the Land Trust.
Portions of Oliver’s Woods can be accessed through the southern tip of Town Run Trail Park.
Photo credit: Central Indiana Land Trust