Indiana State Parks don’t get any bigger or better than the Brown County State Park in Nashville, Indiana. It stretches on for 15,696-acres, making it the largest Indiana park by far. The rugged terrain of the southern Hoosier State makes this an excellent day trip destination for hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders. It features more than twenty miles of hiking trails that range from easy to rugged, and range from .5 miles to 3 miles in length. Parts of the trails even take visitors to an area called the Knobstone Escarpment, an are known to be the most rugged region in the state. For an outdoor getaway packed full of fun and adventure, take a day trip from Indianapolis to Brown County State Park.
The gorgeous landscape is perhaps best viewed in the fall season, when the brightest of autumn colors are shining through. The drive from Indianapolis to Nashville takes approximately one hour, and takes tourists through some of the prettiest Indiana landscape around. More than one million visitors frequent Brown County State Park each year to enjoy activities ranging from nature walks to mountain biking. They even have a 12,000 square foot aquatic center equipped with a water slide. Indianapolis kids love to splash in the Olympic-sized pool, and adults can be found relaxing in the hot tub.
Before Brown County State Park opened in 1929, it was called the Brown County State Game Preserve for five years. During the Great Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps built many of the trails and shelters that stand in the park today. Two lakes in the park are great for boating or fishing. The largest is the 17 acre Ogle Lake, and Strahl Lake spans for seven acres. Mountain bikers claim that this is the best spot in the Hoosier State to bike. Seventy miles of biking trails and 20 miles of hiking trails make this park perfect for outdoorsmen and nature lovers. The biking events of the 1987 Pan American Games were held
A day trip to southern Indiana could turn into a long weekend or an entire vacation. Some even celebrate weddings, honeymoons or romantic weekends at the park’s cozy log cabins. Camping is available at several locations throughout the area, including dozens of log cabins, 401 Class A Campsites, 28 Class B Campsites, RV Campsites, youth tent areas and 60 horseman’s sites. Tennis courts, picnic shelters and playgrounds are other amenities sprinkled throughout the park.
The Abe Martin Lodge was built by the DNR in 1932 as a tribute to old Abe’s legacy. He was actually a cartoon that ran in the Indianapolis News for nearly 25 years. The cartoonist responsible for creating Abe Martin is Kin Hubbard, and the cartoon was nationally syndicated. The park wished to commemorate this famous cartoon, and it’s cultural connection to the area, so Abe Martin Lodge was built on an area of the park known as Kin Hubbard Ridge, where other cottages were built and named after other characters from the comic newspaper clipping.
Animal lovers will find white tailed deer, raccoon, chipmunks and gray squirrels are the most prevalent animals. Bird watching is another popular activity here, where wild turkey, robins, blue jays, cardinals, white breasted nuthatch and crows are most prevalent. Ice skating and painting are other activities that attract people to Brown County State Park.
The Bill Monroe Memorial Music Park and Campground is just a few miles from Brown County State Park. Other attractions close by include the Bartholomew County Memorial for Veterans in Columbus, the Southern Indiana Center for the Arts in Seymour and Bluespring Caverns in Bedford. Just south of Brown County lies another one of the largest attractions in the state. Hoosier National Forest spans 200,000 acres and includes the virgin growth trees in the Pioneer Mothers Memorial Forest.
Take a day trip to Nashville, and explore all the outdoor and artistic adventures to be had there. There are several small Indiana shopping locations that sell specialty items and gifts. Many popular Indiana restaurants can also be found in the area. Only 25 minutes from Brown County State Park is Indiana University. Countless must-see spots decorate the campus and surrounding small town, including the Wiley House Museum, Indiana University Art Museum and the Mathers Museum of World Cultures. Countless adventures await your next day trip from Indianapolis.
Brown County State Park
Nashville, Indiana 47448