Most people think the best places to see the leaves change in the fall is along the East Coast. But here in Indiana, you can experience equally stunning foliage. The best time to see the colors is in October, when they are at their brightest. So, if seeing the fall vibrancy is on your to-do list this year, be sure take these five stunning foliage hikes in Indiana!
Every Hoosier knows that the place to be in the fall is Brown County State Park in southern Indiana. It’s considered the East Coast of Indiana when it comes to watching the leaves change. Made up of nearly 16,000 acres of hills, ridges and ravines, Brown County has earned the nickname “Little Smokies,” and it’s a popular destination for hikers and fall lovers alike. What makes it so attractive? Nearly 20 miles of tree-lined roads and with each trail, the views are a sight to behold. There are many different trails one can hike, but the most popular and best to see the colors are the Lodge Trail, Friends Trail, and CCC Trail.
Located near Marshall, Indiana, is Turkey Run State Park. This is where ancient Indiana comes to life. See some of the deep ravines that date back 300 to 600 million years and gaze in awe at the deep canyons and the beautiful hemlock groves. Trail 1 takes you past majestic sycamore and giant black walnut trees. Trail 5 also affords some mesmerizing views. The deeper into the park you go, the more colors you will see.
Considered to be one of Indiana’s hidden gems and a bit smaller compared to other hiking destinations, Clifty Falls State Park in southern Jefferson County, Indiana, only has about 1,500 acres. Here though, you can see the park’s many waterfalls that change with the weather, as well as some of the most stunning foliage colors Indiana has to offer. The trails can vary from easy to rugged, but Trails 4 and 5 have the best views, though both trails are a bit steep.
Most people consider Indiana Dunes to be a summer place. A place where you can relax on the beach, sail a boat, and feel the warm sand beneath your feet. You can do all of that, but if you come to the Indiana Dunes State Park in October, you’ll be left in awe of the beautiful foliage you will find here. Indiana Dunes State Park offers 14 trail systems that cover more than 50 miles. The park itself has over 15,000 acres for visitors to hike through and explore. Take the Oak Savannah Hike and see the views of the mature forests and the beautiful Lake George.
Located near southern Bedford, Indiana, the Hoosier National Forest is filled with color. The forest itself encompasses over 200,000 acres and is managed by the United States Forest Service. When hiking the Hoosier National Forest, there is over 260 miles of trails—the key is finding the right trail with the best views. The Nebo Ridge Trail and the Hickory Ridge Trail come highly recommended but no matter which trail you choose, there is a view that will leave you speechless!