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Camp RIO 2016: About Merry Lea

About Merry Lea

Merry Lea is a natural sanctuary located near Wolf Lake, Indiana.  Management of the center is guided by a Christian theology of earthkeeping. Most of the habitats found in northeastern Indiana are present on Merry Lea. Unique geological features such as peat bogs, a marl pit, and glacial gravel formations are present. Observable management practices include wetland, prairie, and savanna restorations, as well as sustainable agriculture. A vigorous educational program interprets the significant biological and geological features.

Visitor Guidelines

Please observe the following guidelines when visiting/hiking at Merry Lea.

Stay on the designated trails.

Leave all plants, mushrooms, and animals undisturbed.

Trails are maintained for foot traffic only. Biking, horseback riding, all-terrain vehicles, and snowmobiles are not permitted.

No public hunting, trapping, or discharge of firearms will be permitted within the borders of Merry Lea.

Parking is permitted only in designated areas. Driveways, roadways, and gated field entrances are not appropriate parking spaces.

Visitors are strongly discouraged from bringing family pets because their presence is disruptive to the native animals and plants. In addition, most hikers at Merry Lea come expecting to experience a natural setting. Any dogs and cats must be under direct control at all times.

Use of alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs while at Merry Lea is not allowed.


Merry Lea has eight miles of hiking trails that are open every day of the year from dawn to dusk at no charge. The trails pass through a variety of ecosystems and provide opportunities to explore the ecological features of the land.

Trail maps are available at trailhead boxes located at the Farmstead and at the Learning Center building.


Fishing is not permitted from ML property. You may see fishing on Bear Lake because there is a public boat launch. All of High Lake's shoreline is privately owned, but a boat launch is accessible for a $5.00 fee.