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Indian Ford Meadow Preserve

About the Deschutes Land Trust's Indian Ford Meadow Preserve.
Indian Ford Meadow Preserve
The Three Sisters from Indian Ford Meadow Preserve. Photo: Bryon Dudley.

Indian Ford Meadow was donated to the Land Trust in 1996 by a local landowner to protect its dramatic scenic views and important wildlife habitat. Bisected by Indian Ford Creek, this picturesque 63 acre meadow near Sisters (see map) contains a unique diversity of ecosystems ranging from wetlands to pine forest. The Preserve also serves as a migratory corridor for mule deer and a breeding ground for migratory songbirds. 

Why it is a conservation priority

Indian Ford Meadow Preserve protects significant fish and wildlife habitat, native plants, and  open space for enjoyment of scenic mountain views. The Preserve contains Indian Ford Creek, a spring fed perennial tributary of Whychus Creek, and serves as a buffer for its sensitive wetland and streamside areas. Furthermore, by maintaining the natural open meadow, the Preserve protects the rural and scenic character of the local Sisters area.

What to see

  • Hummingbird at Indian Ford
    Hummingbird at Indian Ford Meadow. Photo: Jay Mather.
    Watch for wildlife:
    With song birds nesting along the creek and local raptors using the ponderosa pines as hunting perches, bird watching is always interesting. More than 100 species of birds have been observed at the Preserve. See the Preserve's Bird List or help with bird surveys. The Preserve also serves as an important mule deer habitat and migration corridor as the deer travel from the mountains in the summer to the more temperate winter range in the east. 
  • Enjoy scenic views: Walk our 0.2 mile Founder’s Trail to explore the meadow and enjoy the scenic overlook with outstanding views of the Cascade Mountains.
  • Discover native plants: The Preserve is unique for its diversity of plant communities ranging from sedge wetlands to aspen stands to upland pine forests. These habitats include sedges, willow, lupine, fescues, needle grasses, bitterbrush, big leaf sage, ponderosa pine, western juniper and various herbs.

Visiting Indian Ford Meadow Preserve

Indian Ford Meadow Bird Walk. Photo: Jay Mather.
Indian Ford Meadow Bird Walk. Photo: Jay Mather.

Indian Ford Meadow is part of the Land Trust’s Community Preserves program which includes lands that we protect to encourage a strong connection between local communities and the nature nearby. The Preserve’s Founder’s Trail is open to visitor access by foot, year-round. The area of the Preserve west of the creek is closed for protection of wildlife and habitat. Explore the open areas of the Preserve on your own or on a guided tour. Please check our event page for upcoming Indian Ford Meadow Preserve tours.

Restoration and Education activities

Neighbors of the Preserve, community members and local school and outdoor education groups have worked hard to help eradicate noxious weeds throughout the sensitive meadow. Volunteers have helped maintain the beauty of the Preserve and Founder’s Trail through our Adopt-a-trail program. Students from the GIS Program at COCC have contributed to extensive vegetation mapping and detailed surveys have been performed by the Archeological Society of Central Oregon. The Land Trust continues to monitor the Preserve to ensure the progress and stability of restoration efforts. Current restoration efforts are focused on restoring a large stand of aspen trees and continued control of noxious weeds such as mullein, bull and Canada thistle, and reed canarygrass.

Indian Ford Meadow Preserve Map

The map below shows the location of Indian Ford Meadow.

Indian Ford Meadow map


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