The Ritchey Woods Nature Preserve occupies just under 130 acres of land in Fishers, Indiana, a booming suburb to the northwest of metropolitan Indianapolis. The mature wooded area contains some 42 acres designated by the state of Indiana as a nature preserve, while the remaining acres constitute a state-governed natural resource conservancy.
The land was originally donated by Dr. James O. Ritchey to the Nature Conservancy, then passed on to the Indianapolis Children’s Museum, and from there to the town of Fishers. Cheeny Creek runs through part of this Fishers park, which contains picnic areas, restrooms, a 25′ X 40′ shelter, and two total miles of five separate, multi-use trails.
The Ritchey Woods Nature Preserve has compiled a great list of field trip programs that give Fisher’s children the opportunity to interact with and learn from nature, from hands-on hiking to monarch butterfly tagging. These include a guided forest hike, Bird Basics, Monarch Tagging (children catch and tag butterflies to assist in tracking), and Wetland Wonders, where children learn the importance of the area’s wetland environments.
Fishers Parks and Recreation Department offers many great Fishers summer camp programs throughout the active town of Fishers, three of which are located inside the Ritchey Woods Nature Preserve. These programs are Nature Explorers for children 7-8 years old, Nature Nuts for children 5-6 years old, and Trail Tots, for children 3-4 years old. The Ritchey Woods Nature Preserve also offers an “Extreme Adventure Camp” for adults and teens consisting of an eco-tour to Costa Rica, run by Education First, an educational tour group.
Ritchey Woods Nature Preserve
10410 Hague Rd
Fishers, IN 46038