Spring is in full force here in Fort Wayne, and with the fresh flowers comes new life in other plants and animals at Vandolah Nature Preserve.

I enjoy exploring tranquil places both in the city and on its outskirts, and Vandolah is just one of those places. Wildflowers and the peaceful sounds of nature never cease to relax me, and it's always neat to spy forest dwellers hiding nearby, like foxes, ducks, a variety of birds in the marsh, and the occasional deer.

Also, since I'm a walker, I can easily walk a few laps on the 1.5 mile long path in the preserve and have a new experience each time.

Vandolah would be a great escape for families. Young children can easily hike the path, and everyone can take turns spotting critters and admiring the plant life. Plus, it's free!

Check it out for yourself on an official Wildflower Hike on Saturday, May 9th, from 2-4 p.m, which is presented by ACRES.

Participants will discover spring ephemeral wildflowers and wild geological formations during a leisurely-paced hike. Trail guides will meet you at the trail head and will be on the lookout for participants. Dress according to the weather and possibly muddy trails. ACRES events are never cancelled, regardless of weather, so rain or shine, we will enjoy the trails. No gear is necessary to enjoy the preserves! Bring your curiosity, sense of discovery and maybe a companion.

The Vandolah Nature Preserve is located at 16151 Tother Road, Leo, IN. You can find driving and parking directions here.