Fall is coming to the Hoosier state a little late this year. Temperatures remained warm through much of October so colors are lagging behind. Peak color should arrive the week of November 2 throughout most of the state; perhaps a little earlier in the far northern area.
Consider these destinations for a scenic road trip to some of the best fall foliage destinations:
Brown County State Park
1810 State Road 46 East
Nashville, IN 47448
At 16,000 acres, Brown County is the largest state park in Indiana, so there is a wide range of options to enjoy the beauty of fall: driving or biking (on 20 miles of tree-lined roads in the park), hiking (on 12 different trails ranging from easy to rugged), picnicking, camping and horseback riding. Climb to the top of the 90’ fire tower in the park for gorgeous panoramic vistas. If you like the trees, but nature isn’t really your thing, you can stay at the Abe Martin lodge in the park or shop and dine in nearby Nashville and Bloomington. Nicknamed “the Little Smokies,” Brown County State Park tops the list of places to enjoy fall in Indiana.
Take advantage of free weekend parking in any of the garages on campus and visit Indiana University Bloomington. IU is one of the world’s most beautiful campuses and fall is breathtaking. Roam the campus and explore nearby downtown Bloomington for a delightful fall day.
Turkey Run State Park
8121 Park Rd
Marshall, IN 47859
Turkey Run State Park is known for its ravines and geological formations. Hiking trails generally range from moderate to very rugged, with the exception of one easy half-mile hike from Turkey Run Hollow to the Lieber Memorial. Some trails involve ladders and several portions may be impassable during high water, but the creeks that wander through the park make for some beautiful scenic views, including those from a suspension bridge over Sugar Creek. Definitely worth a day trip in the fall.
Clifty Falls State Park
2221 Clifty Drive
Madison, IN 47250
Four major waterfalls are the distinctive feature of Clifty Falls State Park. See all four on a rugged four-mile hike through the park and enjoy gorgeous scenery along the way. An observation tower near the Clifty Inn overlooks the Ohio River.
Heritage Trail Driving Tour
Download a map from https://www.amishcountry.org/things-to-do/heritage-trail/ and then follow the 90-mile loop through Elkhart, Goshen, Middlebury, Nappanee, Bristol, Wakarusa and Shipshewana. Since the tour is in northern Indiana, you might want to go the last week of October rather than waiting until November 2 as colors will peak sooner in the northern part of the state.
Pumpkinvine Nature Trail
The Pumpkinvine Nature Trail runs 17.3 miles (one way) from Abshire Park in Goshen to the Shipshewana LaGrange County Visitors Bureau in Shipshewana. Most of the route is off road, and all of it is paved, so it’s easy to walk, run or bike through marshlands, prairies, Amish homesteads and small towns. Download a map at https://www.amishcountry.org/assets/2017_ElkhartCounty_BikingWalkingGuide-PumpkinvineNatureTrail.pdf. Again, for peak color, it’s best to enjoy fall in northern Indiana in the last week of October.