Autumn colors increase park visits

By Amanda Creech
TheStatehouseFile.com

INDIANAPOLIS – With fall in full bloom, the leaves are changing colors and state parks are preparing for a rise in visitors.

The Mounds State Park, located in Anderson, features several fall events and activities that attract visitors.

Tuesday Brown County State Park showcased the changing colors of fall.

Tuesday Brown County State Park showcased the changing colors of fall.

“This time of year is very highly attended,” Kelly Morgan, interpretive naturalist for Mounds State Park said. “We see a lot of school field trips coming. Literally we have school field trips every week day.”

Morgan said being in the middle of fall break has given the park a boost in visitors as well.

“We’re in peak color with the trees. People are out walking. We have fall activities,” she said.

Among those fall activities, is a pioneer day offered the second week of October. Morgan explained that it gives families a taste of what it’s like to live in the late 1800s with wool spinning, wood witling, pioneer board games and chores.

One event the Mounds has coming up is their Halloween weekend.

“Friday evening we do a luminary, not-so-scary hike that’s very family friendly. It’s completely stroller accessible and we let groups go every 15 minutes and we have stations along the way where families can learn about snakes, bats and owls and sounds they might hear in the night,” Morgan said.

On Halloween, there’s a Bring Your Own Pumpkin event where the park offers decorating supplies to decorate a pumpkin.

“We are definitely focused on making sure that we have family friendly events and we have a series of them throughout the fall as well as throughout the year,” she said.

Brown County State Park and Clifty Falls are also seeing a rise in attendance during the fall season, but it’s no surprise to them.

“This is our biggest time of year,” Doug Baird, Brown County park manager, said. “We’ve had some real good weekends with a lot of traffic during the week.”

Brown County State Park has been planning a Halloween event night.

“We have a trick or treat trail and a campsite to decorate and a pumpkin carving contest,” Baird said.

Outside of the fall season, Baird said the park also offers special events several times a year.

Rocky Brown, assistant property manager for Clifty Falls State Park, said there is an increase in people coming, especially on weekends.

“We have a Falls in the Fall Festival which kind of takes place in a Halloween type festival. We just name it something different,” Brown said. “We do have trick-or-treating, decorate your campsite contest, a few crafts and things like that.”

A lot of visitors are also able to go camping, take tunnel tours and hike.

The reasons for the spike in attendance in the fall? Brown attributed that to “fall colors and the weather.”

Amanda Creech is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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