Down Home Southern Indiana offers a wide range of family-fun outdoor adventures. Whether your crew is interested in camping, hiking, exploring caves, fishing, boating, or simply taking in the unique natural beauty, the perfect outdoor adventure awaits. Here are some family-friendly and exciting outdoor adventures in Southern Indiana.
Hiking and Nature Trails
- Charlestown State Park, Charlestown (EST) Along the Ohio River, trek trails that range from easy to challenging. Boat launch and camping are available.
- Falls of the Ohio State Park, Clarksville(EST)Explore 390-million-year-old fossil beds. At the Interpretive Center
(open seasonally), discover the ancient sea and creatures that once covered this land.
- Hoosier National Forest, Tell City (CST) Spanning over 60,000 acres and several Southern Indiana counties, this forest land offers lakes, sandy beaches, boat launches, hiking, biking, equestrian trails, kayaking, camping, and more.
- Lincoln State Park, Lincoln City (CST) This scenic park is a memorial to Abraham Lincoln’s mother, Nancy Hanks. Soak up the history as you visit the lake, boat rental, nature center, cabins, picnic area, trails, and camp sites.
- O’Bannon Woods State Park, Corydon (EST) Bordering the Ohio River, this state park offers hiking, fishing, and a nature center.
- Spring Mill State Park, Mitchel (EST) This state park features the Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom Memorial museum, a
Pioneer Village with 20 historic buildings, and cave tours. Combined with miles of hiking trails, campground, nature center, picnic areas, and playgrounds, this state park has a lot to offer.
- Bluespring Caverns, Mitchell (EST) Take a guided underground boat tour of the subterranean river and explore the caverns.
- Indiana Caverns, Coyrdon (EST) Discover a waterfall, cave formations, and bones from the Ice Age during an 80-minute underground tour.
- Squire Boone Caverns & Village, Mauckport (EST) Explore underground passages and natural formations. Take the ride of your life on the zip lines that take you from ridge to ridge over Buck Creek valley. A village above ground offers shops and activities.
Fishing, Boating and Water Adventures
- Blue River, Milltown (EST) Paddle canoes and kayaks on the Blue River, which winds through scenic landscapes and offers a chance to spot wildlife.
- Buffalo Trace Park, Palmyra (EST) Loaded with amenities, this campground offers days of fun where buffalo once roamed.
- Clark State Forest, Henryville (EST) Fish, hunt, hike, and primitive camp at the oldest state forest in Indiana.
- Patoka Lake Marina, Birdseye (EST) This reservoir spans several counties and offers boating, fishing, swimming, and even guided wildlife boat tours. Rent a canoe, kayak, or pontoon boat for a day on the water.
Wildlife and Nature Centers
- Glendale Fish & Wildlife Area, Montgomery (EST) Hunt and fish on over 1,400 acres with 23 ponds and lakes.
- Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve, Evansville (CST) This urban nature preserve in Evansville features a network of trails, an interpretive center, and local flora and fauna oberservation.
- Wilstem Wildlife Park, Paoli (EST) This 1,100-acre ranch features elephant and giraffe encounters plus a petting area of a variety of animals. Cabins, hiking, biking, ATV tours, horseback riding, and zip lines offer delightful family adventure.
- Barn Quilt Trail, Princeton (CST) This is Indiana’s largest barn quilt trail with 225 hand-painted blocks adorning landscapes and barn sides.
- Ohio River Scenic Byway Take a leisurely drive along the Ohio River, enjoying picturesque views of water and surrounding countryside. Discover historical sites and charming towns along the way. Keep track of the local time because this drive spans both CST and EST time zones.
No matter which outdoor adventures you choose, Southern Indiana’s unique rolling landscapes and scenic beauty provides a perfect backdrop for creating lasting family memories.
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Time Zone Note: While most of the state of Indiana is on Eastern Standard Time (EST), two time zones affect Southern Indiana. Counties along the southern Ohio River border and on the western side of the state are on Central Standard Time (CST). Otherwise, as you travel through Southern Indiana, you’ll be on Eastern Standard Time (EST).