The paving of the main trail and parking lot in Hannibal Sodalis Nature Preserve is complete, creating an almost two-mile loop through the park.

The preserve became Hannibal Parks and Recreation's second largest park when it was acquired from the Conservation Fund in January.

The Sodalis Nature Preserve includes a former limestone mine and a cave network that serves as hibernation areas for federally endangered Indiana bats. Some 168,000 bats, about a third of all Indiana bats call the preserve home.

The parking lot for the preserve is at 800 West Ely, south of Dempsey Dog Park and Bear Creek. The preserve's main trail allows for continuation of Bear Creek Trail.

Parks and Rec reminds the public that no vehicular traffic is allowed in Sodalis Nature Preserve.

Gates have been set up at each of the mine entrances to allow the bats to come and go but keep people out.

Hundreds of people attended Hannibal's first Bat Festival in April.


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