Janet Eager and Teena Ligman have hiked hundreds of miles across southern Indiana. The two recently shared a family-friendly excursion to “undiscovered treasures” in Lawrence and Orange counties. Eger is Indiana Department of Natural Resources And Rigman is a retired forestryman. Together they visited 16 locations, many of which are historically significant and offer beautiful scenery, wildlife viewing, and plenty of reasons to take photos.
Sites are located on both public and private land. All private locations allow public access, but some require permission to enter special areas such as caves.
Orange County: A glimpse of Wesley Chapel Bay and Indiana’s Lost River
It takes its name from the church built in 1858 just to the north. The bay was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1972 due to its geological features. Here you can catch a glimpse of part of the Lost River, which flows underground for most of its miles. The bay was probably formed when a rock structure collapsed, creating an opening to the underground flow below.
Ligman said the bay’s water has color and depth, with swirling spots “sometimes like a toilet bowl.” Visitors should be aware that there is a short walk to reach the depression in the steep slope.
The bay is 1,075 feet long and approximately 350 feet wide. The walls range from 25 feet on the northwest side to about 95 feet on the southwest side. Please note that in the event of heavy rain, water levels in the bay can rise quickly. The location is 4742 350 West, Orleans.
Orange County: Indiana’s Lost River springs at Orangeville Rise
visit Orangeville Rise This is another way to view the Lost River as it emerges from the caves and underground passageways. This 3-acre area is also located within the town of Orangeville in Orange County.
It was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1972 and a State Natural Reserve in 1975. This ridge can be seen from the pull-off area on the northeast side. After heavy rains, the appearance of water gushing out of the caverns below can change dramatically.
Orange County: Elephants, giraffes and more at Willstem Wildlife Park in Paoli
Wilstem Wildlife Park is a private animal park located at 4229 US 150 West near Paoli. In addition to interacting with animals such as elephants and giraffes, the park also offers horseback riding and walking trails, as well as a drive-through safari set on 1,100 acres.
Park buildings include a 10-bedroom lodge built from walnut logs cut on-site. The zip line offers unique views of the land below.
Orange County: Lick Creek Cemetery in Hoosier National Forest
Lick Creek Cemetery Lick Creek African American Settlement In the Hoosier National Forest. The hike to the cemetery is 6 miles round trip from the parking lot along Grease Gravy Road (250 East).
A nearby kiosk tells the story of an African American family who immigrated and settled in the area in 1811, five years before Orange County was founded and Indiana became a state. The colonists were free citizens, and by 1860 the colony had become a racially integrated community.
Ground penetrating radar discovered 28 graves within the cemetery. Not everyone has a gravestone. The last person buried in this cemetery was Simon His Locust in 1891. Locust served in the Civil War in Company E, 13th Infantry, United States Colored Troops.
Forest management:Past and present come together at Lick Creek Settlement, Buffalo Springs Restoration Project
Orange County: Learn about Indiana’s beginnings at Pivot Point
pivot pointalso called the initial pointis where the first survey of the land that would become Indiana began in 1805 by U.S. Deputy Surveyor Ebenezer Buckingham.
A short path leads to a kiosk and historical marker that provides information about the significance of the survey. Three of the five participants in the first expedition died during the expedition due to leopard attacks, malaria, and drowning in the swamps.
Indiana was the first state to be based entirely on the survey system used to establish the beginning legal descriptions of real estate, which is still used in Indiana today. To get there, take East Pivot Point Road from Ind. 37 south of Paoli.
Orange County: Old-growth forest preserved at Pioneer Mother Monument
Pioneer Mother Memorial This old-growth forest just south of Paoli is now part of the Hoosier National Forest and was once owned by the Joseph Cox family since 1816. Since then, his only two walnut trees have been planted on his 88-acre section of the property. cut.
This land was put up for sale in 1940. Local officials worked with the U.S. Forest Service to purchase the land and keep it from interested timber companies.
The trail winds through the woods from US 150 to Ind. 37, where there is a small parking lot. A wall along the trail reads “Monument to the Mothers of the Indiana Pioneers,” the name of the organization that helped preserve the old-growth forest. Native American artifacts have been discovered on the bottom land.
Washington County: Caving in Cave River Valley Natural Area (permit required)
Located in northwestern Washington County, just outside of Lawrence County, Cave River Valley Natural Areaa satellite property of Spring Mill State Park.
The natural area is primitive, with no restrooms or marked trails. The former road into the site is narrow and steep. There are approximately 30 managed caves on the grounds, including Endless Cave and River Cave. Indiana Karst Preserve.
Hiker’s path:Explore the Cave River Valley Natural Area
Anyone wishing to enter the two caves must obtain permission from the IKC. No one is allowed to enter the other caves. A stream flows through the cave and the reserve is filled with wildflowers in spring. He is located at 6031-6871 North Cave River Valley Road in Campbellsburg.
Lawrence County: Spring Mill State Park Mill and Pioneer Village
Spring Mill State Park Near Mitchell is the restored Pioneer Village, founded in 1814 and featuring a three-story limestone grist mill and other historic buildings.
Water from Mill Creek turns the water wheel that powers the flour mill, but the mill is currently under renovation and is not in operation. There are many hiking trails in and around the village, including hiking up the hill to the Lakeview Activity Center, walking along the Stagecoach Trail in the Mitchell Karst Plains Nature Preserve, and visiting the Hamer Pioneer Cemetery. Please note that the Spring Mill Inn in the park is closed for renovations.
What did they find?Hundreds of artifacts unearthed at Spring Mill State Park
Lawrence County: Unique headstones at Talbot Cemetery
Talbot Cemetery, one of several cemeteries on the list, has some great headstones. Among them is the tombstone of David Huston (1814-1884). This tombstone is carved to resemble the remains of a tall tree with a hunting dog lying on one side and a rifle erected on it. I object to something else.
The cemetery also has one of the largest eastern red cedar trees in the state (on the east side). Many tombstones are made from honed stone, which means they are resistant to weathering and the information remains legible even after many years. The cemetery is located off Bono Street on County Road 1000 South.
Lawrence County: Swallows and Sinkholes at Buddha Karst Preserve
Buddha Karst Reserve It is a 37-acre private property owned by the Indiana Karst Conservancy. The land was once home to a farm, but now features interpretive trails and information kiosks explaining the wet weather swallet, sinkhole, and two caves. Anyone who wants to enter the cave must first obtain the appropriate permission from the IKC.
Lawrence County: Spring wildflowers and waterfalls at Jeremy Keith Oakley Preserve
Jeremy Keith Oakley Reserve is a 15-acre Sycamore Land Trust nature preserve featuring a diverse mix of trees, wildflowers, and wildlife. A half-mile of rugged trail allows people to enjoy fields, forests, and cascading streams in the valley. It’s a great place to go see spring wildflowers.
Please note that there is only space for 3 cars in the parking lot. If the venue is full, please come another time. It is located at 5244 Reedsville Road in Bedford.
Lawrence County: Jump in Avoca Parks and Recreation’s 40-acre pond.
Avoca Park and Recreation, 3178 Avoca Eureka Road in Avoca, is currently owned and operated by Marshall Township. It was once the state fish hatchery but closed in 2013. The pond can still be seen today.
The park is open from dawn to dusk every day, and current opening hours are posted at the gate. You can rent red brick houses, shelter houses, and observation shelters.
The 40-acre property is lined with trails and is one of Eger’s favorite spots. “Marshall Township has done a great job of transforming an old fish hatchery area into a wonderful family-friendly place,” she said. The cemetery, located on top of a hill, overlooks the pond below. For more information, visit her Facebook page at the park.
Lawrence County: Veterans asked to be buried standing here at Barton Cemetery
barton cemetery (one of three with the same name in Indiana) has one grave: John Pleasant Burtona private in the Revolutionary War (1758-1836), was buried standing.
Burton requested the unusual position, according to an article in the Mitchell newspaper. According to the story, Burton made an agreement with George Zincher, a high-ranking mason and fellow mason from North Carolina, to bury Burton vertically and Zincher to bury him horizontally at Burton’s feet. When Burton was buried, Zincher performed the ceremony. He was then buried at Burton’s feet.
The newspaper article states, “To achieve a vertical burial, a hole was drilled in the back of the coffin and Barton was held upright with ropes. The coffin was buried vertically, feet first.” . This Burton Cemetery is located on Burton Cemetery Road near Mitchell.
Lawrence County: Go fishing and spot wildlife at Williams Dam State Recreation Area
Williams Dam State Recreation Area Along the East Fork of the White River outside Williams, there are public fishing holes and hiking trails, where wildlife such as bald eagles are often seen. Of course, the main activity at the dam is fishing, and it was once used to generate hydroelectric power. The recreation area and dam is located at 201 Williams Road in Williams.
Lawrence County: Blue Springs Caverns Underground Boat Tour
blue springs caveLocated at 1459 Blue Springs Caverns Road in Bedford, it is known to many for its boat tours through the caves, which are home to blind cavefish and crayfish.
The cave is currently closed and is scheduled to reopen on March 16, 2024. Still, people can stop near the off-road entrance and hike along the Karst Natural Area Trail to see one of Indiana’s largest sinkholes.
Underground adventure:Red Bull athletes visit Bedford to ride through Blue Springs Caverns on electric surfboards
It’s about a half-mile away, and Ligman says winter and spring are the best seasons to see the area’s landscape and early spring wildflowers. One of the flowers commonly seen there is the patelroot orchid, one of Indiana’s native orchids.
Please contact Carol Kugler.email@example.com or call 812-331-4359.