As the weather finally begins to cool down many of us nature lovers want to spend all day outside enjoying the brisk air and changes in scenery that Fall brings, and there is no place as idyllic to enjoy Fall than the Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve.
The Ecology Preserve is an outreach program of the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences. The Ecology Preserve can be found at 2222 N. College St. near Highway 280 and next to the Auburn Fisheries plant. Not many Auburn students and residents are familiar with the preserve and all that it has to offer. The preserve is not just a simple park it is the home to numerous nature trails, a turtle ponds and a breathtaking waterfall.
Junior, Lauren Kleinhans of Tampa, Florida goes to the preserve about three times a week and has fallen in love with the relaxing essence the preserve brings. “I am training for a half marathon in January and I was starting to get bored just running around Auburn’s campus or on the treadmill so I simply googled ‘running trails in auburn’ and found the preserve,” begins Kleinhans. “I really feel more at ease running through the woods on the trails than I do on the side of the road, it is just so much more peaceful.”
Since beginning her visits at the preserve Kleinhans has also started to visit even when she is not running, “I brought one of my roommates here to show her how beautiful it is, she really loved the waterfall and the turtle pond. She goes to Chewacla State Park all the time but she didn’t even know that there was another nature area so close to campus,” shares Kleinhans. Kleinhans is even considering running in the preserve’s 5K Trail Run this weekend!
The preserve, which boasts 30, trails spanning five miles through many different habitats in 120 acres has a deep history. The land was originally home to the Creek Indian tribes and was bought by the Cooper family, then was owned by the Turners who used the former cotton farming to raise cattle and the Turners then donated the land to Auburn University in 1993.
The preserve now is a place for leisure and learning. The preserve offers fall nature walks for free every Thursday from 8:30-9:30 as well as an astronomy night for $3 in December where one can learn all about the constellations and planets. Also in December a wreath-making workshop is available so one can make the perfect door décor.
So what are you waiting for? Go visit the Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve today to become one with nature or just to escape for a little while.