Fall in Indiana is the perfect time to get outside and explore the great outdoors.
After a season of lush green and bright flowers, attention turns to the trees, which change their colors and offer a spectacular show of the natural beauty. Life in Johnson County offers plenty of places to see the colors, both locally and just a short drive to the surrounding areas.
The Johnson County Public Library supports outdoor areas perfect for a fall stroll. The Urban Forest on South Street in Franklin has a StoryWalk, small free library, small path, and trees that were planted after the 2008 flood. The trees have grown quite a bit and are a perfect way to stay local and see the colors.
Windisch Park in Bargersville has a StoryWalk, a small free library, a playground, and a small wooded area. This would be perfect for kids to enjoy the cool fall days, read a story, and take a walk.
Finally, the Trafalgar Branch has an indigenous prairie with a half-mile walk, as well as a StoryWalk, a small free library, a blessing box, and a seed library. In late September and early October some of the flowers may have just peaked, but nothing beats the golden hues of the grasses, not that I’m biased.
If you want to take the family on a day trip, Central Indiana also has several places to visit.
To the south, Brown County State Park is a wonderful place. The Nashville Wooded Area offers hiking, horseback riding, camping, and other activities for all ages.
The Hoosier National Forest, just south of Nashville, is a federally protected area that offers trails for hiking, fishing, camping, picnicking, and other activities in a wooded area known for the beautiful fall colors of the trees.
If you look north, Fort Harrison State Park in Indianapolis offers an oasis in the heart of the city. You can watch the changing colors while hiking, horseback riding or camping.
Another great place to see the colors is Eagle Creek Park, Indianapolis’ largest park. Located on a reservoir, this park offers more than ten miles of hiking trails, picnic areas, and other family activities.
To complement these experiences, the library has several items in our library of things to help you get the most out of your outdoor experiences and make memories.
Birding backpacks can be borrowed for two weeks at a time. Each backpack contains two binoculars, one for you and one for your child, bird watching books, a scavenger guide, a set of bird IDs, and a fun bird bingo game.
For people with color blindness, we offer enchroma glasses that help correct red-green blindness and experience the beauty of the changing trees.
Finally, we have outdoor board games and musical instruments that are perfect for your camping trip. Visit PageAfterPage.org/LOT for more library items to borrow this fall.
Wherever you choose to visit this fall, we hope you will take the time to come out and experience all that Indiana and your library has to offer.
Elyssa Everling is an adult librarian at the Trafalgar Branch of the Johnson County Public Library. Library staff collaborate to write this bimonthly column for the Daily Journal. Send comments to [email protected]