Little River Landing is a 53-acre preserve located near the confluence of the Little River and the Wabash River in Huntington, Indiana. Most of the preserve (about 43 acres) lies between the two rivers while the remainder (about 10 acres) is across the Little River on its west bank (see map). The preserve is jointly owned by LRWP and ACRES Land Trust.
We at LRWP are very pleased to have acquired Little River Landing as our first preserve in Huntington County, at the south end of the Little River Valley, our project area. The preserve has considerable historic significance as well as scenic and conservation value.
A singular history: In earlier times, Native Americans, French voyageurs, and European settlers traveled the two rivers bordering the preserve. The Little River was important because it connected the St. Marys River and the Wabash, hence ultimately the Mississippi River and Great Lakes systems. During the drier seasons, a strategic portage between the two waterways ended near the current Little River Landing site. Later, travelers on the Wabash & Erie Canal also stopped nearby. The town of Huntington owes its origins to the importance of the Little River and the Wabash River for travel and trade.
Forests and wetlands: The portion of the preserve between the two rivers boasts older growth forest at the northwest end and bordering the rivers, and an area of former agricultural land planted with younger, mainly native trees. Shallow-water wetlands featuring emergent wetland shrubs, trees, grasses, and rushes are found along the northeast portion. The property is a haven for birds and other native wildlife.
The ten acres on the east bank of the Little River allow access to the river by traveling from West Park Drive in Huntington. In this parcel, where a riparian forest of large trees is established along the Little River, one can also find remnants of the Wabash and Erie Canal that traversed the land in the mid-1800s.
Visiting the part of the preserve between the rivers will be restricted except during special events held when the Little River is shallow, since access is across the river. LRWP will work with ACRES to try to provide other means of access in future.