November 17th is National Take a Hike Day. While you might not pick Indiana as a hotbed of great hiking, we have plenty of places to hit the trails. Here are a few that are located relatively close to Rush County:
Heading north to Summit Lake State Park, you’ll find several moderate to easy trails with views of the lake. The Prairie Trail is the longest trail at 1.75 miles. It links with the 1.25-mile moderate Upland Forest Trail that offers a tree-lined path through the woods adjacent to the lake. If you’re out of energy for the day, the Sunset Trail, half of which hugs the lakeshore, is short and completely flat.
East of Rush County the 2.5-mile Feeder Dam Trail follows the Whitewater Canal from Metamora towards Laurel and the feeder dam that was built to supply the canal with water. The trail’s southern end is located on US Highway 52 near Pennington Road. The northern end is located at Dam Road.
For those wanting more of a challenge, the 16.5-mile Wolf Creek Trail on the southwest side of Brookville Lake and the 12-mile Red Springs Loop on the south end of Whitewater Lake offer enough rugged terrain to really stretch the legs.
Westwood Park in Henry County is half an hour north of Rushville, just west of New Castle. It contains a 10-mile trail that goes around Westwood Park Reservoir, a small 180 acre lake. Once you get on the trail, the only way to get off of it is to back track or keep going, so be sure to only hike half as far as you’re able.
The Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary in Connersville, which belongs to the Audobon Society, has multiple interconnecting loops that meander past small ponds and among gentle tree-covered hills. Most of the loops are short, but by stringing them together it’s possible to create a more challenging hike.