Best Winter Weekend Getaway in Brown County State Park

By Gabby Davis

Best Winter Weekend Getaway in Brown County State Park

Though the snow may be falling and the temperatures rapidly cooling, there is still plenty of fun to be had here in Indiana. Journey down south for a winter weekend getaway in Brown County and enjoy authentic log cabins, a frosty trail hike, ice fishing, and so much more.  

Brown County State Park, Nashville, IN

Brown County is one of Indiana’s best kept secrets but a popular destination all year round. It’s a place where the past is celebrated, and the founding and development of the art colonies took place. It’s an eclectic place with a beautiful park nicknamed “Little Smokies” because of its resemblance to the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. The park is just under 16,000 acres and features rugged hills, ridges, and ravines, as well as the rare and endangered Yellowwood Tree, a nature center, and more. It’s the perfect family destination. 

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Nickels Vacation Cabins, Nashville, IN

The best way to stay in Brown County, even just for the weekend, is in a real log cabin, and Nickel’s Vacation Cabins has some of the best to offer! The cabins are located within the heart of the hills of Brown County and are just minutes from the Farmhouse Café and Tea Room. The views from the cabins are absolutely breathtaking and provide that perfect winter feel: snow falling across the hills, the wind lightly moving the tree branches, just absolutely perfect. There are four cabins to choose from: Cabin in the Pines, Antique Cabin, Garden Cabin or the Kelly Reed Cabin. The cabins, while rustic on the outside, have all the modern amenities on the inside, and even come with a porch swing. 

Brown County Historical Society, Nashville, IN

The Brown County Historical Society offers the most interesting tours of historical sites in Nashville. Check out the Old Log Jail, which was originally built in 1837 for $175. The Community Building is a dog trot style log cabin, believed to be from the 1840s, that was discovered in Jackson County by a Nashville-resident rabbit hunter who had it moved to Brown County in 1925. It had served as the site for major community events for many decades. There are so many more sites, artifacts, and historic events to be uncovered through the wonderful tours by the historical society. They’ll give you a taste of what Brown County was like in the 1800-1900s. 

eXplore Brown County at Valley Branch Retreat

Another great way to discover the beauty that Brown County has to offer is by ATV and Explore Brown County ATV tours is the organization to see! They offer guided ATV, Hill Climb Buggy, and off-road Hummer tours. The guided ATV experience offers two different guided tour options: Ridge Runner, which provides visitors with a one-hour tour of the property and highlights some of the trails, or the Cemetery Tour, where visitors can explore the old roads used by stagecoaches, pioneer home sites, and a graveyard that dates back to the 1800s! This tour also gives visitors a chance to see the true beauty that is Brown County. 

T.C. Steele State Historic Site, Nashville, IN

Another noteworthy historical site in Nashville is the T.C. Steele State Historic Site. This is the stomping grounds of the famous Hoosier impressionist painter Theodore Clement Steele, who is still very significant to the art community. His works of Indiana landscapes are widely recognized as he was a leader in the American Midwest painting movement. The grounds contain many gardens sculpted by Selma Steele. With the large studio house, gardens, and many hiking trails to explore, you’ll be taking a step back to the early 1900s.

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Ogle Lake

One would not normally consider “winter” the easiest season to go fishing but ice fishing is quite the popular sport at Ogle Lake! Visitors are required to have a state fishing license in order to fish, but the lake provides an excellent selection species to catch! The lake itself was developed in the late 1920s to early 1930s by the Veteran’s Civilian Conversation Corps Company and not only has a great selection of fish, but it also has some fantastic and relaxing views of the park. 

Farmhouse Cafe and Tea Room at the Flower and Herb Barn, Nineveh, IN

Located on the grounds of The Flower and Herb barn, the Farmhouse Cafe and Tea Room is a quaint establishment that provides its visitors with a truly one of a kind experience and views. The farmhouse was built in the 1800s and features original hardwood and brick both inside and out, as well as a beautiful brick fireplace, perfect for cozying up to on a cold afternoon. Ask for their soup of the day, made fresh daily with herbs, spices and garden vegetables grown in the nursery. And of course, let’s not forget dessert, which could be homemade carrot cake or some warm, soft and gooey farmhouse chocolate brownies with drizzled chocolate on top! 

Big Woods, Nashville, IN

Another great place to visit for a delicious meal is Big Woods. From the moment the restaurant first opened in early 2009, it became an instant hit with locals, tourists and craft beer lovers. There are six locations throughout Indiana, three of which are in Nashville, including the Original Big Woods. The Big Woods Pizza is located across the alley from the original location and features indoor/outdoor seating, a downstairs bar and tasting room, and a second story bar and event space. Feel free to order one of their delicious Artisan pizzas such as The Hawaiian Luau, or build your own using their locally sourced ingredients. 

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Frank Southern Ice Arena, Bloomington, IN

What is a winter getaway without ice skating? In Bloomington you’ll find Frank Southern Ice Arena. This skating rink offers the classic public skating experience, with the addition of Lunar Skating, which includes special-effect lighting as well as well as classic tunes to jam out on the ice to, and Night Own Skating, which as you can imagine rungs into the late hours of the night. Grab your mittens and hat, some friends, and head to the ice rink for the quintessential winter experience! 

Paoli Peaks, Paoli, IN

If you’re looking for a guaranteed day of fun, head to Paoli for some time to carve some trails at Paoli Peaks. There is a natural hill with a 300-foot drop, 15 trails, eight lifts, two terrain parks, and a 45,000-square-foot day lodge. If you are a pro, just beginning, or somewhere in the middle, there are trails for every skill level. Lessons and rentals are offered so if you forgot your equipment, no need to stress! Not only do they offer skiing and snowboarding passes, but they also offer snow tubing at the Arctic Blast Snow Tube Park. At a reasonable price, you can come and enjoy three hours of tubing down some epic runs.

Brown County Winery, Nashville, IN

Another great spot for entertainment is the Brown County Winery, which has been a family owned and operated business since it first opened in 1985. Not only do they have some of the best wine in Indiana, but this is also the best place if you’ve come for the views. Complimentary wine tastings are offered daily and include selections such as the Vista Rosé Wine, Strawberry Wine, Blackberry Wine, Old Barrel Port, and many others. Not only do they taste utterly delicious, they’re also beautiful and pure in color. 

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