Hey folks! For the first stop of our quest to visit all of the Indiana state parks this year, we visited Brown County S.P. recently! (If you want to get technical, it's our second park, but I don't count McCormick's Creek because it's only 12 minutes from us.)
Brown County is the most popular state park in Indiana with the most annual visitors. (Our McCormick's Creek S.P. is pretty popular too and is actually the first state park established in the Hoosier state. Fun little fact, for ya. ;) ) Brown County is also the largest park area-wise. With beautiful scenic views any time of year, but especially in the fall, lakes, dozens of miles of trails for both hiking and biking, plenty of shelter and picnic areas, and an inn with a WATER PARK, you can see the appeal. If you live in Indiana and you you've never been to Brown County State Park, you need to get out more!
I had actually planned on visiting Shakamak S.P. the week we went to Brown County, but then I saw that they were having a venomous snake program the Friday before Easter. I am not a fan of snakes, but Myka is and I've been wanting to learn more about the venomous ones in the area so I know what to look for! Unfortunately, I didn't get to hear much of the program, but I'll get to more on that in a minute.
My first mistake was pulling over at this lookout tower to look at the map. Myka wanted to get out, we didn't really have time, and Ripley was still asleep. I promised we would come back to it. Regardless, Myka bugged me about THE ENTIRE TIME.
After looking at the park map, I noticed that the nature center (where the program was to be held) wasn't exactly close to the gate we came in, so I planned on not stopping anywhere since I figured Myka would want to check out the nature center first. But...I couldn't help myself and had to pull over and take some pictures at this area and another one, though I stayed in the car the second time.
We had time to check out the nature center before the snake program started. I actually have a video at the end of this post that includes a lot of the nature center in it, if you're interested. I didn't get any pictures as I had a brain fart and didn't put the mini monster in her carrier, so I was just trying to keep track of two kids who wanted to go different directions!
Since it was so warm out, they held the snake program outside at the shelter area next to the N.C. (Nature Center) Naturally, the kids were restless and, again, I'm an idiot and didn't have Ripley in her carrier so she couldn't get away. Ha ha So I let them walk around and check out the butterfly/hummingbird garden right next to the shelter area and the amphitheater area close by too...All while trying to at least catch bits and pieces of what the naturalist holding the program had to say. Lol
I think this was from the lookout by the amphitheater behind the Nature Center.
I finally got smart and we went to the car to get drinks and the hiking carrier. By the time we got back to the shelter the program was over. BUT, the naturalist/park ranger/whatever you want to call her got the black rat snake out (one of the critters in the nature center and a type of snake we happen to have a lot of at home!) and let everyone check it out/touch it. This was the highlight of the trip for Myka. I don't know why, but she LOVES snakes. Not exaggerating, she spent a good 20 minutes between the program ending and the snake feeding time inside touching that thing and letting it wrap its tail around her arm!
We stuck around for a little bit to watch the snake feeding after, but Ripley was getting restless because we were standing outside the little room because it was so packed full of people. So we started walking around the N.C. some. I guess Myka got tired of waiting for the timber rattlesnake (yikes!) to eat his rat, so she came out shortly after. She claims she saw it eat it, but I'm not sure I believe her. 4 year olds are pathological liars, you know?
After that we took a potty break and the little girl Myka was playing with earlier found her (much to my chagrin) and they played outside for a little bit. I finally figured out where the short little Discovery Trail started, so I was able to pry Myka away for a short hike through the woods. :D
We stopped at this little cabin on our way out. As it turns out, it's just a neat little shelter/picnic area. Myka kept saying it was a ghost cabin like on some episode of Paw Patrol. Lol
And yes, we DID stop at the lookout place on the way out too! Myka makes “friends” everywhere she goes and was bugging a young Asian couple at one point and decided she was going to join in on another mom and young daughter's game of tag. Smh. She acts like no one ever pays attention to her or we are shut-ins or something!
In a nutshell, that was our afternoon at Brown County State Park. You know me: I could commentate more, but this is pretty good for me. ;) Hopefully we can visit again soon with John and maybe even go to the water park!