Three entrances to Brown County State Park:
-- West Gate (State Road 46 West, Bloomington, IN side)
Brown County Indiana State Park, a midwest United States vacation
spot for millions, is Indiana's best example of a place where the
spirit, atmosphere and traditions of the hoosier pioneer settlers
have been preserved.
The park (some 16,000 acres) is the largest in Indiana's state-park system. Brown County State Park was established in 1929. It is a place where each visitor can experince the best from all that Brown County Indiana offers. A place to live life to its fullest among the timeless Hills o' Brown.
Year 'round, it is Brown County State Park, where nature displays her splendors as nowhere else on earth--a constant source of delight to the tourist, artist, photographer, hiker, naturalist or lover of scenic beauty and outdoor recreation. (Don't forget your camera)
Brown County State Park InformationAmong the hills and streams, the shades and glades, the lakes and trails of Brown County Indiana State Park there's a spectacle of natural beauty in every season. Blacktop roads flow gently through the park, with well-marked lookout points that provide vistas and panoramic views of unspoiled scenic wonder.
Come in the Autumn; thrill to the midwests most vivid display of
fall foliage--evergreens peeping through a spectrum of yellows,
browns and bronzes,
a radiance of crimson, orange and deep, rich reds.
Come in the Winter; tread the leaf-carpeted woodlands, see new beauty in the ice-sculptured landscape, smell the wood smoke from heating and cooking fires, watch the sun go down in the blue haze beyond distant ridges.
Come in the Spring; enjoy the blooms of the redbud, shadbush, dogwood and blankets of moss pinks that abound on the slopes, along the ridges and in the quiet valleys. Hear the calls of the hermit thrush and whippoorwill.
Come in the Summer; then Mother Nature outdoes herself with her gifts of shimmering, ever-changing patterns of sunlight and shadow under bright blue skies and fleecy clouds. Learn to know the white-tailed deer and pileated woodpecker.
In Brown County State Park, in the midst of quiet beauty, there is time to contemplate and reassess one's values. You are quick to realize the homespun philosophy of Kin Hubbard's Brown County cartoon character Abe Martin, who reduced the problems and frustrations of everyday living to single, pithy sentences.
Yet there is much activity in the park. It has the Abe Martin Lodge as lounge, social center and dining hall for guests at the lodge and the village of cabins surrounding it. It has campgrounds and shelter houses, miles of foot trails, bank fishing for bass and bluegills in the park's two lakes, picnic areas and playground equipment, pure water and modern sanitation facilities.
There are pony rides, saddle horses and 10 miles of bridle trails, plus about 30 miles of trails near the horsemen's campground, and an Olympic-size swimming pool, which is open from May 30 to Labor Day.
The horsemen's campground is in Greenhorn Valley in the southeast section of the park and can be reached via an exclusive entrance off State Road 135 west of the Stone Head community.
The park's Nature Center is a focal point of fascinating information and activities.
The center offers a succession of exhibits and programs, including hikes and discussions.
You can visit the fire watch tower on Weed Patch Hill, the second-highest geographic elevation in Indiana.
Weed Patch Hill was a major attraction in the county many years before the state park was created.
Sundays, during spring, summer and autumn, saw a constant stream of cars going and coming over Weed Patch Hill. A white marble marker was placed in the earth there after a U.S. government survey established that point as highest in the state.
It later was determined that a point in Randolph County is a few feet higher, but Weed Patch Hill continues to hold its place as king of southern Indiana hills. Its altitude is 1,058 feet above sea level, surmounted by the 100-foot fire-watch tower.
About a quarter-mile from the summit is Lookout Point, which commands a more far-reaching view than Weed Patch proper. There are three mineral springs on or near the summit of Weed Patch Hill and two old bear wallows were located on the hillside. The origin of the name resulted after a party of Kentucky hunters found a rank weed growth atop the hill At the southern base of the hill was once the village of Kelp, which was vacated for a game preserve later included in state park land.