July 13, 2024
The 5 Best Winter Family Hikes in Indiana - 2banner

The 5 Best Winter Family Hikes in Indiana

Pack up your crossover SUV and head out to the trails for some cool and calming winter hikes that you can do right now in Indiana to think about the year ahead as 2023 winds down. Sometimes, it’s difficult to spend time outdoors in Indiana in the winter, but there are still some hikes you can hit with fantastic views and easy trails. Let’s take a look at five.

1. Fort Harrison State Park

The 5 Best Winter Family Hikes in Indiana - Fort Harrison State Park

Fort Harrison State Park features 1,700 acres and a one-mile trail that offers excellent scenic views at any time of the year. If you want a more leisurely walk, you can take advantage of Fall Creek Trail, which features a paved path that goes through trees and the nearby town. Fort Harrison State Park is also attached to the Geist Reservoir, which features some of the clearest, cleanest water around. As you might expect, the 1,700-acre park is home to a wide variety of wildlife. There’s even a creek where you can fish.

2. Pumpkinvine Nature Trail

The 5 Best Winter Family Hikes in Indiana - Pumpkinvine Nature Trail

With a full trail length of 16.5 miles, the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail has a lot to offer for both hikers and bikers. Most of the trail is paved, too, which makes it a great choice for families with small children. The trail passes through four parks, including Oak Ridge, Ox Bow, Abshire, and Krider Garden. The scenery you’ll encounter is postcard-perfect, with pastures, farmlands, and serene forests. In the fall, you’ll experience incredible fall colors, and in the winter, it transforms into a snowy wonderland.

3. McCormick’s Creek State Park

The 5 Best Winter Family Hikes in Indiana - McCormicks Creek State Park

Featuring a wide variety of trails, McCormick’s Creek State Park showcases some of the best scenery in Indiana at any time of the year. Many of the trails loop through the forest, allowing hikers to see several areas of this park, which is made all the more scenic by the presence of snow and ice. One of the biggest draws of this park is all the waterfalls throughout. Another one is Wolf Cave, which you can find on Trail 5. This is a small cave that goes back about 82 feet. It’s easy to explore and safe for families with kids.

4. Indiana Dunes National Park

The 5 Best Winter Family Hikes in Indiana - Indiana Dunes National Park

You might not think of the beach as a winter activity, but there are actually some interesting sights at Indiana Dunes National Park in the winter. Besides all the trails that are still open for hiking, you may see some of the fascinating shelf ice that appears along the shores of Lake Michigan. The park also boasts one of the best expanses of sandy beaches in the entire Great Lakes area. You’ll enjoy plenty of biodiversity too, which means opportunities for birdwatching and viewing other types of wildlife.

5. Shades State Park

The 5 Best Winter Family Hikes in Indiana - Shades State Park

The trails at Shades State Park offer something for everyone, and they’re great for families as they’re mostly on the short side. Despite the short trails, there’s an incredible array of terrain, including flood plains and ravines. Shades State Park has the reputation of not really feeling much like Indiana due to its lush greenery and rainforest vibe during the spring and summer. In the winter, it has more of a Midwest feeling thanks to the snow covering everything.

Get Out and Play this Winter in Indiana

Needless to say, Indiana has plenty to offer for hikers and walkers during the winter season and any other time during the year. And with a solid, off-road and snow-capable SUV, you’ll have even more options!

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