boardwalk in forest
St. Francis
Michigan City

St. Francis is a 39-acre wetland forest with a 1/4-mile boardwalk trail lined with oak and maple trees.

Franciscan Health Michigan City and Shirley Heinze Land Trust have partnered to provide a unique experience in the outdoors. Along the trail are signs detailing the history of St. Francis, the “Patron Saint of Ecology,” as well as the health benefits of spending time in nature. This nature preserve serves as a place where everyone, including hospital visitors, can find healing and comfort.

St. Francis Nature Preserve is free and open to the public year-round. Spring is an ideal time to visit the preserve when the marsh marigold and broom tussock sedge are in bloom. Wildlife seen at this preserve include birds, deer, butterflies, and squirrels.

The boardwalk trail is wheelchair accessible and located directly beside Franciscan Health Michigan City hospital. Visitors may park near the trailhead entrance. Emergency call buttons, which alert hospital staff in the case of a medical emergency, are located throughout the trail.

Preserve Size

Preserve Size 39 Acres

Preserve Open to the Public

Open to the Public

Trail Length

Trail Length 0.25 Miles

Preserve Terrain

Terrain Accessible Boardwalk


Activities Wildflowers

Visit the Preserve

St. Francis Nature Preserve is located on the southwest side of Michigan City, off of I-94 and US-421, adjacent to Franciscan Health Michigan City hospital.

The main parking lot is located along 3500 Franciscan Way Michigan City, IN 46360. The boardwalk trail juts out into the forest just beside the hospital.

With Thanks

to Our Generous Acquisition and Restoration Partners

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National Park Service
Great Lakes Restoration
Indiana Heritage Trust
Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Nature Preserves
State of Indiana
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The Nature Conservancy
Sustain Our Great Lakes
Save the Dunes
Indiana Lake Michigan Coastal Program
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
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