Fox Island is a 605-acre park that is in southwest Allen County. The park’s address is 7324 Yohne Road. Fox Island is twelve minutes from the Fort Wayne International Airport, eight minutes from Lutheran Hospital and nineteen minutes from downtown Fort Wayne. The park’s neighbors include Interstate 69, National Serv-All’s landfill and Eagle Marsh Preserve. Fox Island is a park within a park that has 270 acres dedicated as a State Nature Preserve. This area protects unique plants, animals and geographic features. Fox Island has seven miles of trails throughout the preserve. These paths allow visitors to enjoy the beauty and splendor of the park. Fox Island also has over six miles of cross-country skiing trails in the winter and is available when more than four inches of snow are on the ground. Programs in the Nature Center are available for fun or as home study credit.
Fox Island State Nature Preserve contains marshes and swamps that border a wooded dune. The dune is a result of the decline of the Wisconsin glacier. The preserve is home to over 190 species of birds. The diverse land and water forms create an assortment of plant societies, which support animals. Black oak, white oak, black walnut, wild black cherry, willows, cottonwood, and sycamore trees all provide shade in the preserve. In the northwestern part of the preserve, wetlands contain open water encircled by vegetation. The preserve also contains old fields in a number of stages of succession.
The nature center is a charming log cabin and contains a conference room as well as large and small-sized classrooms. All of the rooms in the nature center are available for rent. A gift shop, Allen County Parks Administrative offices, education offices, and an assortment of exhibits are in the nature center. An educational area inside a tree house is available for children to explore. Rustic chairs inside by the fireplace or on the rear deck help complete a leisurely afternoon at the park. The deck overlooks a small wetland area as well as the state nature preserve.
Bowman Lake is on the west side of the park. During the creation of I-69, the state borrowed soil to create a nearby overpass, the result is Bowman Lake. It is unusually clean and clear because it is spring fed. The lake has a clean swimming beach that never has a lifeguard on duty. Swimmers must swim at their own risk. Fishing is possible for an additional $2 per person that is payable at the entrance or at the visitor’s center. Adult fishers must hold a current Indiana fishing license. Restrooms with running water are near the lake as are two open picnic shelters as well as a playground for children. Each of the picnic shelters has a grill to make a fun day the beach an all-day affair. For visitors who would like to swim with their dog, a doggie beach is available.
When most people hear about a park that is in Allen County that is close to the interstate and the airport, they do not expect to find the...