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Northern Indiana Lake Country

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About the Northern Indiana Lake Country

The Northern Indiana Lake Country is a region stretching from north-central to northeast Indiana characterized by a large number of glacial lakes.

This region is flat on a large scale, but has abundant hummocks (large mounds or small hills) and other glacial features including terminal moraines, kames, and abundant lakes, ponds, bogs, and marshes. Lakes range in size from the largest wholly contained in Indiana, Lake Wawasee, to small kettle ponds. Surface soils are highly variable: moraines and kames have coarse, well-drained soils, whereas poorly-drained, boggy areas have organic soils.

Well-drained sites originally supported oak-hickory forest. Lower-lying, swampy areas had northern swamp forest, beech forest, tamarack swamps, cattail-bulrush marshes, and sphagnum bogs.

Most of the forests on drier ground here have been cleared. The dominant land use is agriculture, mainly corn, soybean, and livestock production, with some mint and vegetable forms on organic soils. There is significant forest cover, mostly on swampy sites, but also in small, isolated woodlots throughout, and some along riparian areas. Significant areas of marshes and other wetlands remain. Although this region is not densely populated, there is significant development around the lakes, both for recreation and residential use. Warsaw is the largest city here.

This region is bordered to the southeast by the Clayey High Lime Till Plains, which is much flatter and has fewer distinctive glacial features. It is bordered to the northwest by the Battle Creek/Elkhart Outwash Plain, a region with a greater portion of well-drained, fire-prone sites. To the southwest is the Middle Tippecanoe Plains. All of these areas have fewer lakes, although the borders of these regions can be transitional and ill-defined, and there tend to be more lakes close to the borders of this region.

References

1. Woods, A.J, Omernik, J.M., Brockman, C.S., Gerber, T.D., Hosteter, W.D., Azevedo, S.H. "Ecoregions of Indiana and Ohio (Poster)", US Geological Survey (1998) Web.