Home Nature preserves Brown County, McCormick’s Creek among highlights

Brown County, McCormick’s Creek among highlights

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As the nights get longer and the days get colder, locals will seek out the hues of fall colors in the region.

With the many parks and forests in southern Indiana, locals have plenty of places to see the different shades of leaves in the region, without spending a fortune.

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According to smokymounains.com Predictor of the fall foliage map, peak fall colors will occur in the southern 2/3 of Hoosier State later this month.

Brown County State Park, Nashville, Indiana

Brown County State Park in Nashville, Indiana is arguably the state’s most famous place to admire the fall colors.

Often called the “Little Smokies” after the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina, Brown County State Park offers plenty of opportunities to see Indiana’s native trees.

There are several vistas in the park with views that last for miles.

The park also has both the West Watchtower and the North Watchtower, which provide visitors with a view of the park from an elevated location.

The Friends Trail, located near the park office, is an easy, short, paved trail that visitors can enjoy.

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The park also offers 12 additional hiking trails that range from moderate to rugged.

Brown County State Park has two entrance gates. The west gate is located at 1405 W. State Road 46, Nashville while the north gate is at 1801 E. State Road 46, Nashville.

Spring Mill State Park, Mitchell, Indiana

Spring Mill State Park is known as a place where history and nature meet.

The historic Spring Mill State Park Mill is inside Pioneer Village.

From its Pioneer Village, walking trails, and Spring Mill Lake, the park offers several options for those looking to take in the fall hues.

Park Trail 6 is an accessible quarter-mile hike that begins near the park office and the Grissom Memorial.

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The entrance to Spring Mill State Park is at 3333 E. State Road 60, Mitchell.

McCormick’s Creek State Park, Spencer, Indiana

McCormick’s Creek State Park is the oldest in the Indiana system and is covered in trees.

Waterfall at McCormick's Creek State Park

The park, located at 250 McCormick’s Creek Park Road, Spencer, includes two nature preserves that people can drive through.

There are 10 hiking trails in the park ranging in difficulty from easy to rugged.

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The 0.6-mile Trail 6 and the 1.2-mile Trail 9 route are both rated as easy, while the 0.7-mile Trail 8 is rated as accessible.

Lake Monroe, Bloomington, Indiana

While many people think of Lake Monroe more for its fishing and boating, the property offers several options for those looking to experience the fall colors.

The Fairfax State Recreation Area is home to the moderate 1.75 mile long Big Oak Trail.

Paynetown State Recreation Area is home to the 1-mile-long Whitetail Trail and the 1.25-mile-long Blue Bird Trail, both rated moderate.

The Tree Trek Trail, located in Paynetown, is an easy 0.5 mile long hike.

Allen’s Creek State Recreation Area is home to the 1.75 mile Turkey Trot Trail.

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Loake Monroe is located at 4850 S. State Road 446, Bloomington.

Morgan-Monroe State Forest, Martinsville, Indiana

The Morgan-Monroe State Forest straddles the borders between Morgan and Monroe counties.

The property is home to nine hiking trails ranging from easy to rugged.

An entrance sign to Morgan-Monroe State Forest.  The forest is one of many outdoor sites that draw visitors to Morgan County.

The park’s Hike-Bike Trail is a 5.2 mile paved trail marked as easy.

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Morgan-Monroe State Forest is located at 6220 Forest Rd., Martinsville.

The park is also home to the 1-mile Tree Identification Trail and the 0.5-mile Pathfinder Orientation Trail.

Yellowwood State Forest, Nashville, Indiana

Yellowwood State Forest is home to seven horse trails, six hiking trails, and five biking trails for people to see the fall colors.

The property also includes Yellowwood Lake, which has two boat ramps for those looking for a place to fish.

The State Forest is located at 772 Yellowwood Lake Rd., Nashville.

Hoosier National Forest

The Hoosier National Forest is operated by the United States Forest Service, which is an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture.

The property is home to over 200,000 acres of woodland.

Some of the Forest’s amenities include hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking trails.

Other places to visit

The area is also home to the Ravinia State Forest located on North Duckworth Road near Paragon, Indiana in Morgan County.

Ravinia State Forest is one of the newest State Forests in the state, having been dedicated in 2020.

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Another dedicated state forest in 2020 is the Mountain Tea State Forest located on Pumpkin Ridge Road in Nashville.

Owen-Putnam State Forest offers three equestrian trails and two hiking trails, including the 1.2-mile-long Poplar Top Trail and the 0.3-mile-long Fish Creek Trail.