By Gabby Davis
When the weather is nice in Indiana, there’s no better way to immerse yourself in the state’s natural beauty than taking on one of its excellent hiking trails with the family. Now, a day on the trail can be strenuous for little legs and hikers with minimal experience. Not to worry! There are plenty of trails across the state suitable for all levels of skill—hiking trails that everyone in the family will enjoy. Here are five excellent hiking trails in the state.
Indiana is considered a land-locked state, meaning there are no oceans nearby. While that may be true, Indiana does offer a beach bum’s paradise near Michigan called the Indiana Dunes State Park (or to most, Indiana Dunes or simply The Dunes). One of the best things about the Dunes is its abundance of hiking trails, especially of the family friendly variety. While some are labeled as more moderate or rugged, the easy hiking trails are highly accessible for the young ones. One of the easiest hiking trails in the area is three miles in length, and is truly whimsical during early spring. Hikers will be surrounded by beautiful flowers and ferns on this trek.
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Strawtown Koteewi Park is Hamilton County’s hidden gem. Located just to the east of Cicero, the park is 750 acres, and offers everything from hiking to cycling trails, trail riding for the equestrians (including pony rides for the little ones), as well as canoeing and archery. Everyone in the family will love this one.
Another popular area to go hiking in Indiana is Brown County State Park, near Nashville, Indiana. Nicknamed “Little Smokies” because of its close resemblance to the Great Smoky Mountains. Brown County State Park boasts 16,000 acres. The most popular time to visit Brown County is in the fall when the leaves change colors. During the summer though, visitors can hike or bike through the numerous trails, as well as take guided trail rides. For the family, check out the playgrounds and nature center, as well as the swimming pool! For lodging, try the Abe Martin Lodge which has motel rooms and cabins, as well as an indoor water park!
Located in North Liberty, Indiana, Potato Creek State Park is about 12 miles southwest of South Bend. The park offers six different trail levels from beginner to advanced, as well as bicycle and mountain biking trails. The park also offers a swimming area, bridle trails, nature centers, and playgrounds.
Clifty Falls is the place to be in the summer. Located in Madison, Indiana, Clifty Falls State Park features miles and miles of hiking trails and beautiful scenery throughout. A dedicated hiker’s dream is Clifty Falls. For the children, there is a swimming pool and waterslide as well as the nature center.