7 Beautiful Hikes in Indiana
Indiana is a Midwest State that is often overlooked. One thing I know for sure is that Indiana is home many beautiful hikes. When you think of hiking, Indiana is the place to go. There are miles of hiking trails just waiting for you and the hiking boots.
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Cowles Bog Trail, Indiana Dunes National Park
This is the top pick for Indiana’s best hiking trail. TravelAwaits offers a selection of the best hikes throughout all 50 US states. Indiana Dunes National Park was one of America’s newest national parks. It is home of the Cowles Bog trail.
This trail runs 4.7 miles and is loved by thousands all year. Because of the mild temperatures, May to October are the best months for this trail. It is notable that the area’s remarkable plant diversity was declared a National Natural Landmark back in 1965. The trail’s highlights include ponds and marshes as well as black oaks and beaches. You should bring sunscreen, bug spray and plenty of fluids. Avoid taking shortcuts to get the best view of Lake Michigan on this trail. To get the best views, take the longer, harder hike. It opens at 6:15 a.m. in summer.
Shades State Park Trail
Shades State Park Trail 2 is approximately two miles long. You will find a waterfall while hiking this trail. It has a moderate elevation gain of around 380 feet. To make this trail more enjoyable, I recommend that you hike clockwise. This will allow you to avoid having to climb up several flights of stairs. This trail is very rugged and requires some hiking experience. The ravines can be very damp, so I was glad I had waterproof shoes. The forest is dense, as are the birds. Bring your binoculars to enjoy the hike. A camping site is highly recommended, since there are restrooms and showers available. At campsites, full-service hookups will not be available.
Buffalo Trace Trails
French Lick is home of many hiking trails. One of my personal favorites is the 5.8 mile-long Buffalo Trace Trails. (Trail 2). This trail winds through forest and is used both by hikers or bicyclists. French Lick was my first experience with it. This area in Southern Indiana is one the most beautiful parts of the Midwest. Depending on how far you’d like to hike, and what you see, the waterfall loop can be chosen. This trail is great for unwinding. I suggest you spend three days exploring the area. For your hike start by parking in the French Lick Resort lot. Book multiple nights of lodging at this resort and enjoy a memorable stay in French Lick.
Twin Bridges Loop Trail
The Twin Bridges Loop Trail can be found in Hendricks, just 40 minutes west of Indianapolis. It is an easy hiking trail. This loop trail can be used to observe birds and view wildflowers during the warmer months. This trail has a modest elevation gain of 59ft. It’s easy enough for anyone. The trail is located in Indiana’s heavily populated area, but you can enjoy a peaceful hike away from the crowds.
After your hike I recommend stopping by the Mayberry Cafe in Danville. You can enjoy a plate of Aunt Bea’s broasted Chicken and a piece of bread pudding for a memorable meal.
Pumpkinvine Nature trail
The Pumpkinvine nature trail is a fun way to discover the Amish farms, schools, and communities of this region of Indiana. It’s a great time to hike this trail as spring brings out the vibrant colors of wildflowers. This trail crosses several parks, including Oak Ridge Park. Ox Bow Park. Abshire Park. Krider Garden. These parks are ideal for those who don’t wish the 17.5-mile Pumpkinvine trail hike. This trail is point-to-point, so it takes you more than 30 miles round-trip. If you live in the area or visit the area often, I would suggest that you hop on the trail at different points throughout the year. This trail is the perfect place to go if you’re looking for a quiet and reflective hike in Indiana.
Adventure Hiking Trail, O’Bannon Woods State Park
The Adventure Hiking Trail, O’Bannon Woods State Park, is a loop of 21.7 miles that has an elevation gain to 3,845ft. The views and hike are amazing. This trail winds through the woods and offers backcountry experiences. This trail is perfect for those who are looking to practice their hiking skills before heading out West. You should bring water along and wear hiking boots. Stability is important as the trail can be quite rugged. You should be careful of ticks in the summer heat, when everything is lush green. Protect yourself with bug spray and long sleeves.
The South Trailhead is the Cardinal Greenways’ home in Richmond, Indiana. This trail runs for 62 mile from Richmond to Marion. This trail is Indiana’s longest recreational trail network and has something for everyone. You will find plenty of shade along this trail, even in the heat of summer. The Greenways is easy because it has an elevation gain (895 feet). The trail is great for those who enjoy being outdoors. Richmond is well worth the visit. This charming city is just a short drive away from Indianapolis and offers many outdoor adventures.
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