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Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Healthy Rivers INitiative > Properties > Wabash River Conservation Area Wabash River Conservation Area

Managed by Deer Creek FWA
(765) 653-0453
Office Hours: M-Th, 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Closest town:
Hillsdale, IN 47854

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The Healthy Rivers INitiative, the largest land conservation initiative to be undertaken in Indiana, was announced in June 2010. It includes a partnership of resource agencies and organizations who are working with willing landowners to permanently protect more than 43,000 acres along the Wabash River and Sugar Creek in west-central Indiana, and more than 26,000 acres of the Muscatatuck River bottomlands in southeast Indiana.

Eight key objectives have been identified for HRI:

  • Provide a model that balances forests, farmed lands and natural resources conservation.
  • Connect separated parcels of public land to benefit wildlife.
  • Restore and enhance areas of land along the Wabash River, Muscatatuck River and Sugar Creek.
  • Protect important habitat for wildlife.
  • Open land to the public for recreational activities such as fishing, hunting, trapping, hiking, canoeing, bird-watching and boating.
  • Protect important rest areas for migratory birds.
  • Establish areas for nature tourism.
  • Provide clean water and protection from flooding to landowners downstream.

The Wabash River and Sugar Creek project area spans more than 43,000 acres. It begins along the tributary Sugar Creek at Shades State Park and runs southwest to where it joins the Wabash. Following the Wabash south-southwest, the project area ends at Fairbanks Landing Fish & Wildlife Area, south of Terre Haute. The project area follows 94 river miles along the Wabash and stretches across five counties: Montgomery, Parke, Sullivan, Vermillion and Vigo.

Approximately 419 acres are now open within the Wabash River Project area.

Frequently Asked Questions



  • The area is mainly a river-bottom floodplain bordered by a hardwood treeline along the Wabash. Hunting is available for waterfowl, deer and squirrel. Furbearers are also abundant throughout the area. Limited opportunities are available for turkey, rabbit, quail and woodcock.
  • No check-in is required to hunt or fish throughout the area.
  • All hunting seasons and bag limits apply.


  • Montezuma Public Access Site is in Reeder Park, south of U.S. 36 off of Washington Street.
  • Shoreline fishing along the Wabash is allowed.
  • All size and bag limits apply.

Wildlife Watching

The Wabash River bottoms is a great place to view a wide variety of birds and waterfowl. River otters, beavers, deer and other mammals are also common.

Additional Opportunities

Gathering berries, nuts, and mushrooms is allowed; however, spring mushroom hunting is restricted to after 1 p.m. daily during the spring turkey season of April 19 through May 12, 2014. The collection of ginseng is not allowed.

NO Camping and NO Swimming Allowed.

Please Read and Obey All Signs.


In addition to state and wildlife laws, this property is governed by posted regulations affecting the public use of lands and facilities owned, leased or licensed by the Department of Natural Resources.

Posted Areas

Safety zones, refuges, waterfowl resting areas and other restricted areas are marked with appropriate signs. PLEASE READ AND OBEY ALL SIGNS.


Violation of any law, rule or regulation governing this property may be cause for forfeiting your hunting, fishing or visiting privileges on this area.


The DNR will not be held responsible for any accidents or deaths occurring from the use of these facilities.


A hunting and/or fishing license is required to hunt or fish on the property.

Collecting permits are required for the collection of anything except nuts, berries and mushrooms.

Trespassing on Private Property

Please be courteous to neighboring landowners. Watch for property boundary and safety zone signs. Stay inside boundaries. Do not trespass on private property.


Traffic on public roads throughout the area is governed by state and county laws. No motorized vehicles, ATVs, horses or bicycles are permitted beyond county roads. Traffic over service roads and trails, except by authorized vehicles, is restricted to walking. Park only in designated lots.

Target Shooting

Target shooting is prohibited.


Parking Lot Physical Addresses

Parking Lot 301
4261 E. 600 S.
Hillsdale, IN 47850