Brown County State Park is just east of Bloomington in Southern Indiana.
Located right next to the popular arts community of Nashville (Locals often just call it "Brown County"), this state park can get very crowded during warm monthes. The busiest time is during the fall, when droves of out-of-towners make their way into the area to view the "fall colors" of the changing leaves.
Brown County State Park is the largest of all of the state parks, founded in 1929.
Rolling hills and dense woods run the landscape.
Flora and fauna
Flora throughout the park varies including: Black walnut, black locust, pines, spruce, oak, hickory, sassafras, beech, maple, ferns, and yellowood trees.
White tailed deer, raccoon, gray squirrel, and countless birds such as crow, robin, white-breasted nuthatch, cardinal, bluejay, junco, wild turkey and pileated woodpeckers are frequently seen.
Located in Southern Indiana, the area gets quite warm during late spring and all summer. Rains and heavy storms are at times frequent, and during the winter the area is often a winter wonderland. Fall is stunning - Indian summers are frequent and the leaves are beautiful.
I-65 runs north-south just to the east of the park, from Indianapolis (north) and Louisville (south). Head west off I-65 onto US-46 which will take you directly into Nashville and to the park.
Basic gate fees
- Weekdays - $4 (Indiana plates)
- Weekends (Fri-Sun, Holidays) - $5 (Indiana plates)
- Non-Indiana Residents - $7
- Pedestrians, bikes, by horse - $2
- One day horse permit - $5
Travelling into and around the park is easy by car, and plenty of lovely sites can be see from the comfort of your vehicle. But, of couse, the best way to get around is by foot, bike or horse.
- The beautiful views overlooking the valley and farmland. Countless views are offered up from your car, by foot, bike or horse. Some of the most breathtaking in the state.
- Weed Patch Hill at 1,058 feet, its one of the highest points in the state.
- See the leaves with thousands of others each Fall. Experience the most beautiful fall color in the state.
- A lot of deer throughout the park, congregating in areas full of people. The deer are plentiful and once a year are offered up to hunters to make way for the next generations, and to control their populations. Visitors are often spotted feeding the deer as well.
- Go fishing at Ogle or Strahl Lake for bass, bluegill and more. Bring your license.
- Hike the trails of one of the eighteen trails, ranging form easy to rugged.
- Go horseback riding. Bring your own horses, or inquire at the saddle barn for information on tours.
- Visit the interpretive center to learn more about day and night hikes, nature talks and information about the park.
- Go mountain biking on almost 20 miles of biking trails.
- Have a picnic at one of many picnic areas featuring grills, tables, toilets, and playgrounds.
- Go swimming at the Olympic size pool.
Check out neighboring town, Nashville, for countless shops and boutiques. You also can often get cheaper camping supplies outside of the park.
- Camp Store features camping and picnic supplies, firewood and souvenirs.
Nearby Nashville also features a selection of restaurants - from fine to fast.
- Abe Martin Inn Restaurant +1 812 265-6343. Located in the park it offers breakfast, lunch and dinner and on Sundays, brunch.
No booze is allowed in the park. For that, you have to head down into Nashville.
Keep in mind Summer and Fall are the busiest seasons, so book far in advance, and expect seasonal rate increases.
- Hickory Shades Motel 5714 W. SR 46. +1 812 988-4694.  Quaint little country motel with mini fridge, and cable in each room. Pets allowed, super friendly. Coffee served every morning!
- Abe Martin Lodge +1 812 988-4418.  Located in the park, and named after the fictional cartoon character Abe Martin, who moved to Brown County during his national syndication in newspapers across the country, and became a landmark character representing the area, by Kin Hubbard. Built in 1932 of native stone and oak, the park is full of classic lodge goodness - big lobbies, fireplaces and a nice dining room. With rooms in the main lodge and cabins as well (named after Abe Martin's fictional friends).
- Seasons Lodge 560 SR 46 E. +1 812 988-2284.  Beautifully situated, each room is decorated with lovely quilts and a modern country decor. Some rooms have fireplaces, and all have access to year round pool, deck, basketball and volleyball courts, game room, horseshoes, internet access, cocktail lounge, restaurant, and a wicked fried chicken buffet on Tuesdays!
- Brown County Inn 51 SR 46 E., Nashville. +1 800 772-5249.  The nicest hotel in Nashville offers under about 90 rooms with lovely rustic settings. Suites are nice, and many of the rooms have beautiful views of the wilderness. Restaurant, cocktail lounge, year round pool, mini-golf, shuffleboard, bocce ball, tennis, wireless internet, basketball, volleyball and more.
- Hills O'Brown Log Cabins +1 812 988-6429  Hills O'Brown owns a variety of beautiful log cabins for people to stay in. Beautifully located all around the area with all levels of amenities. Starts off at $150 a night!
- Hotel Nashville 245 Jefferson St., Nashville. +1 812 988-8400.  A beautiful suite hotel overlooking downtown Nashville. Countless high end amenities, restaurant, bar, pool, and more. Honey-moon type place!
- Story Inn 6404 S. State Rd. 135. +1 812 988-2273.  Cute bed and breakfast, which is the oldest inn in Indiana. Rooms and cottages with various amenities, except none of the rooms have tvs, phones, clocks, or radios. It's one of the most popular inn's in the state, and rumor has it its haunted. Very popular for honeymooners and romantic weekenders. Every check-in gets a free bottle of wine and a restaurant that was the first in the state to stop using hydrogenated oils. Vegan friendly.
- Last Resort RV Park & Campground 2248 E. SR 46. +1 812 988-4675.  One room cabins, camping for rv's, tents and popups, internet access, pool, playground, rec room, and camping store. Friendly!
- Westward Ho! Campground 4557 E. SR 46. +1 812 988-0008.  RV hookups and cabin rentals. Fishing lake (no license is needed), pets allowed, and pool too. Located next to one of the best flea markets in the area.
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