Get Out Of Town!

Eric's Guide to Natural Areas in Indiana
Major redesign completed 6/14/2007

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Hidden Hoosier Heritage

  I have tried on these pages to detail as much as I know or can find out about the natural places of Indiana, in the hopes that when you visit them you will gain an idea of what Indiana was before settlement by Europeans in the late 1700's. Perhaps these glimpses into the former richness of the land will encourage you to press for more land to be set aside in this worn-out, rusted-over, plundered landscape. We can find room for people, farms, industry and nature; but not without planning and some restrictions. Farmers in the state have even taken down the hedgerows that safeguard the soil, in order to plow right up to the edge of the roads and rivers. Industries still use creeks and rivers as waste disposal facilities; we are one of the most polluted states in the nation, and not enough is being done to improve the situation. On an individual level, there are few natural areas that have no litter at all, and some, like the wonderful Potholes area, are in danger of being trashed out completely.

Please join me in making every effort to protect and expand these natural areas. A world without them will be a world of insane and hopeless people. We are part of nature, but not the only part; we cannot exist entirely on our own.

Old-Style Internet

  On these pages you will find no advertisements and no popups. This site has been created and is being maintained by me out of an interest in natural areas and a wish to share what I find with others. I appreciate any contributions or corrections others can make, and try to keep the pages as up-to-date and accurate as possible.  This is how the internet used to work before it became another avenue for selling things.

State and National Parks Indiana has done pretty well with its state parks, preserving some worthwhile areas and generally providing decent information and adequate facilities.

State Forests     Indiana State Forests are a mixed bag. They tend to be a little discontinuous, as they are usually made up of a number of small parcels in the same general area.

Hoosier National Forest The Largest "natural" area in Indiana is the Hoosier National Forest , by far; it contains over 200,000 acres. However, as with some of the state forests, it is not contiguous; there are scattered parcels all over the southern half of the state, starting below Bloomington.

Nature Preserves Indiana's Nature Preserves are the real hidden treasures of the state. They have everything that the state parks have, and more--except people.

Fish and Wildlife Areas Indiana's Fish and Wildlife Areas are some of the largest natural areas of the state. They are designed, like the state forests, for various uses, including hunting; they can be forested or grassy, managed or neglected, marshy or dry; they may have trails or not; in other words, each is unique.

Outdoor Activities

There are a number of activities available to the outdoors person in Indiana, most of them not perhaps as spectacular as elsewhere, but all of them worth the effort. Take a shot at canoeing, hiking or backpacking, biking on or off road, rock climbing or caving.