We have officially reached the start of summer, and there will be plenty of sunny days ahead of us. This time of year is perfect for getting outdoors and discovering all that our state has to offer. Indiana is home to 24 state parks featuring different attractions like dunes, lakes, rivers and caves, offering plenty of places for Hoosiers to explore. If you’re looking to spend your summer close to home, our area offers a number of outdoor adventures for the whole family.
Marengo Cave is a U.S. national landmark offering a variety of activities. Visitors can see the inside of caves on walking tours of the Crystal Palace and the Dripstone Trail. On the tours, you can learn about the formation and discovery of the caves, experience the darkness and identify cave formations. There are also exploration trips where participants can search and crawl through the mud in caves that haven’t been developed yet. Additionally, there are canoe trips available to take visitors down the Blue River.
Patoka Lake is another great place in Southern Indiana to enjoy the outdoors. Various hiking trails are in the area to accommodate all ages and skill levels. The trails range in distance and difficulty, from a moderate two miles to a rugged seven. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of water activities like boating, fishing and swimming at the beach. The lake area includes an archery range and a disc golf course and offers hunting. Many events are hosted at Patoka Lake throughout the summer, including scavenger hunts, Thunder Over Patoka and the 26th Annual Star Party.
There are even more activities offered in French Lick. The Hoosier National Forest boasts more than 10 miles of walking trails used to exercise and explore nature. Bikes, tandems, surrey carts and horses are also available as other means of traveling the area. If you’re looking for more action, an adrenaline boost can be found at Perry County’s world class zip line park. Guests can view the cliffs and wildlife from over 75 feet above the ground at speeds of more than 40 mph.
This just scratches the surface of the outdoor activities present throughout Southern Indiana. I encourage you to use nice days this summer to explore different parts of our community and support the Indiana tourism industry that generates more than $10 billion annually and provides more than 150,000 Hoosier jobs.
More information about these and other exciting getaways throughout the state can be found online at www.visitindiana.com. Free copies of the Indiana Festival Guide, 2017 Travel Guide and other travel publications can be downloaded or ordered from this site or by calling 800-677-9800.
State Rep. Lloyd Arnold (R-Leavenworth) represents House District 74,
which includes portions of Spencer, Dubois, Perry, Crawford and Orange counties.
A high-resolution photo of Arnold can be downloaded by clicking here.