Is there any better place to be than an Indiana State Park when the seasons change? We suggest taking a road trip to capture splashes of color and unbelievably beautiful landscapes this fall and winter. Did your favorite state park make the list?
Brown County State Park – Nashville, IN
Brown County is well-known for its magical fall display. The park is even equipped with a “Leaf Cam”, so you can always take a virtual sneak peek of the bright, changing colors. Even when the fall leaves have passed their peak, the park provides nearly 20 miles of tree-lined roads and several scenic vistas overlooking miles of uninterrupted forestland.
Did you know the park is nicknamed the “Little Smokies”? It gained this nickname because it has 16,000 acres of rolling hills resembling the Great Smoky Mountains. Yes, right here in Indiana!
Top Pick: Trail 7: Ogle Lake Loop
Don’t Miss: Hesitation Point
Turkey Run State Park – Marshall, IN
Turkey Run is Indiana’s second-largest state park and provides some of the most ruggedly beautiful hiking trails in the entire state. Trails that take you through stunning gorges and ravines, formed by hundreds of years of wind and water erosion, are accessed by a suspension bridge crossing over Sugar Creek.
Even when the weather turns colder, the deep sandstone canyons will protect you from the cold breeze. Just make sure you don’t get your feet wet!
Top Pick: Trail 3 (Classified as “Very Rugged”)
Don’t Miss: Narrows Covered Bridge
McCormick’s Creek State Park – Spencer, IN
As Indiana’s first state park, McCormick’s Creek offers activities through all seasons of the year. Hiking trails meander through a beautiful limestone canyon and transport you to Wolf Cave Nature Preserve and scenic waterfalls.
Look out for an interesting feature during fall and winter on Trail 5. Sinkholes that line the trail keep the ground warm enough that greenery is visible throughout the entire winter!
Top Pick: Trail 5 to Wolf Cave Nature Preserve
Don’t Miss: The Falls via Trail 3
Pokagon State Park – Angola, IN
Pokagon State Park is located in Steuben County, which features more lakes than any other Indiana county and provides a wonderful spot for bird watching in the fall and ice fishing in the winter.
One of the best times to visit Pokagon is when a layer of snow covers the ground. During the winter months, the park offers cross-country ski rental, snowshoeing, and a twin-track toboggan run!
Originally opened in 1935, the toboggan run has nearly 90,000 riders every season. After the thrilling 30-foot drop from the tower, the course continues for a quarter-mile with several dips and valleys.
Top Pick: Trail 3 to Hell’s Point
Don’t Miss: Toboggan Run
Charlestown State Park – Charlestown, IN
Beautifully located on the banks of the Ohio River, Charlestown is actually Indiana’s newest State Park (1996). Rugged terrain and deep ravines create several scenic vistas of the Ohio River and Fourteenmile Creek Valley.
The park has an interesting feature you will not want to miss. Rose Island was home to a thriving amusement park in the 1920s. Unfortunately, the park, which included a swimming pool, zoo, Ferris wheel, and more was destroyed in the 1937 Flood. If you’re visiting today a one-mile loop will take you by some of the park’s remains.
Top Pick: Trail 6 for a glimpse of the Ohio River
Don’t Miss: Portersville Bridge to Rose Island