Spaulding Outdoors: The Inside on Indiana’s Outside

Indiana Parks Alliance’s Outdoor Bucket List
If you’re looking for a “bucket list” of places to go and things to do this year, the Indiana Parks Alliance (IPA) has what you need. Following the Centennial celebration for Indiana State Parks, the IPA has asked Hoosiers to select their top “outdoor bucket list” locations. Picking favorite spots at Indiana State Parks and state-dedicated nature preserves is a great way to prepare for the 50th anniversary of the Nature Preserves Act.

The top 15 vote-getters were:

  1. Hike a trail of boulders left by the last glacier and climb the ladders of Trail 3 at Rocky Hollow-Falls Canyon Nature Preserve at Turkey Run State Park.
  2. Explore the Pioneer Village at Spring Mill State Park.
  3. Watch the sunset on Lake Michigan at Indiana Dunes State Park.
  4. Wade in the creek below the waterfall at McCormick’s Creek State Park.
  5. Visit a state park nature center to watch birds and learn about park wildlife.
  6. Linger and enjoy the sunset at Hesitation Point in Brown County State Park.
  7. Walk on the fossil beds at Falls of the Ohio State Park.
  8. Ride the refrigerated toboggan run at Pokagon State Park.
  9. Visit Monroe Lake to search for bald eagles in winter.
  10. Sit by the fire in the historic Lonidaw Lounge in Potawatomi Inn at Pokagon State Park.
  11. Stand beside the Great Mound at Mounds State Park and listen to the wind.
  12. Explore the old-growth forest at Donaldson’s Woods Nature Preserve in Spring Mill State Park.
  13. Walk across the Cataract Covered Bridge at Cataract Falls State Recreation Area (Cagles Mill Lake).
  14. Explore the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Plaza at Lincoln State Park.
  15. Hike the narrow “backbones” of Pine Hills Nature Preserve.

If 15 items is not enough for a bucket list, the remainder of the vote-getters can be seen at indianaparksalliance.org. Information about Indiana State Parks is at stateparks.IN.gov, and information about state nature preserves is at dnr.IN.gov/naturepreserve.

“There are some iconic features in our state parks and nature preserves,” said Tom Hohman, president of IPA. “This list is a great guide for parents, grandparents and just about anyone.”

Donations plummet for Indiana Nongame Fund
The Indiana Nongame Wildlife Fund’s donations have gone down drastically this past year because tax form changes have made it more difficult to donate. Because of the shortage of support, the DNR needs your help. With more than 750 species of endangered wildlife to support and care for, a small and generous donation will go a long way. If you donate just $5, another $9 will be added through federal funds.

Your donation will go toward monitoring eagle nests, housing barn owls, helping the box turtle population thrive, education and monitoring of black bears in Indiana, and many other positive actions. The needs go on and on. Please consider donating today.

Jack Spaulding may be contacted at jackspaulding@hughes.net.