Zona Wildlife Sanctuary
Submitted by: Donna Lind
Location: 601 E. 950 North, Westville, IN
Dog Friendly: Yes
Restrooms: No (sometimes a port-o-pot)
Trail Length: 2.1 total miles easy to easy/moderate
A bright, unseasonably mild July Saturday morning is a great time to discover a new hiking trail so my husband, four-legged companion, Cooper, and I decided to visit the Paul C. Zona Wildlife Sanctuary. The property was once part of the farm where Paul and Rosie Zona lived and raised their family, and the trails are named after them and their favorite routes.
We chose the Wildlife Trail from the parking lot and then connected to Rosie’s Ravine Walk. This is the longest of the hikes and although the paths are very clearly marked with what look like brand new markers, the trail sometimes becomes quite narrow as the vegetation of the forest tries its best to take over. At times, we had to overcome brambles, thorn bushes and downed trees in the path but that just added to the adventure. Rosie’s Ravine Walk leads you just where you would expect – out to the ravine which was pretty dry this time of year but still well defined, leading me to believe that it was probably flowing well this past spring.
Our map shows the Ravine Walk making a small loop and heading back the way we came, however we found a newly marked trail, called Paul’s Walk, which did not show on the map. This trail loops away from the ravine in the opposite direction and connects with the Wildflower Walk which leads back to the trailhead. Judging by the foliage like trillium and columbine along the Wildflower Walk, I can imagine this is a beautiful route in the spring and aptly named.
The only drawback to this trail is its close proximity to the toll road, and although you never see it, the Ravine Walk comes pretty close to it so you can hear the road noise. Otherwise, this is a peaceful hike full of natural wonders, a little more rugged in some spots and solitary. We suggest you wear something other than shorts because the trails do get a little close, make sure you have insect repellant and have fun.