I have been envisioning spanning vistas with lots of golden tree tops for the last few weeks in October, however, it seems the warmer weather the past few years has shifted slightly the changing of the seasons here in the Midwest.
A couple of weeks ago I had gone for a hike to one of my favorite spots and thought it would be a good time of year to catch those red, orange and yellow Fall colors emerging. Unfortunately, when I arrived at the park, that wasn’t the case and most of the trees were still green and only a peppering displaying those fall colors. I knew then I would have to try again in a couple of weeks, believing I would have a better chance to find more Fall color.
Since I had never visited this park before, I decided my next day trip would be to Brown County State Park, (Indiana’s largest state park) and home of the popular vista over looking the forested hills, Hesitation Point. I began keeping tabs on the weather and the extended forecast to plan the drive down to Nashville, Indiana. On Thursday, October 26 it called for a perfect Fall day, mostly sunny skies and temps in the low 60’s. One of the last, if not the last, 60 degree day left in 2017 (for those of us that live here in Indiana). My day trip was set.
I hit the road around 6:45 AM and I arrived at the North Gatehouse at Brown County State Park just before 11 AM. As I headed into the park, I immediately felt this sense of awe as I began to drive the winding road lined with soaring trees on either side of me. Being that it was a Thursday, it was a slow traffic day in the park so that gave me an opportunity to stop a couple of times along the road to take a few photographs.
I came across the first scenic overlook on my way to Hesitation Point and my mind said “oh! look at that!” in excitement. I pull over and park the car so I could get out and take in the view. There it was! More Fall Color. Still not the golden tree tops I had envisioned, yet it was a breathtaking view. I stayed at this spot for about twenty minutes. In those twenty minutes, I noticed a couple of ladies enjoying the view and over heard one of the ladies say that they should take a selfie. I offered to take the picture for them and they were very appreciative. However, the one lady made it clear she wanted their picture taken from the shoulders up. I told them don’t worry “I got this!” 🙂 and they were happy with the way their picture had turned out. After they left, as I was standing there taking some photographs of the vista, another older gentleman came by me and we struck up a conversation. I learned he originally lived near by in this area many years ago. He had moved back to Indiana from Florida after living there for about 5 or 6 years. He said Florida felt monotonous to him, day in and day out, everything seemed the same and he missed the changing of the seasons. I could hear the happiness in his voice being back at that vista to witness those changes he had missed so much as he stood there talking to me. He also mentioned he remembers years ago how without fail this vista was bursting with lots of fall color by the second week in October. Here we were at the end of October and there was still a lot of green covering the hills. What a nice gentleman…and what a nice encounter to remember this particular spot by. I wished him a great day and we parted ways.
Back on the winding road toward Hesitation Point.
A stop at the first vantage point of the scenic views at Hesitation Point.
The second vantage point for the scenic views of Hesitation Point and where I would begin my hike at the Trail 8 marker.
One of the many picnic shelters with a fireplace.
Photographs taken while hiking Trail 8 heading West.
I somehow missed the trail marker at this point and I ended up on the main road again. I walked along side of the road for a few minutes and saw where the trail was picking back up and so I was able to cut through the forest and hop back on the trail again. (There is another one of my “no sense of direction” stories here too, but, I will skip over that part this time.) LOL 🙂
Arrived at the West Lookout Tower
Views from the top of the West Lookout Tower
Theses are photographs that were taken along the 2 mile hike back to the car from the West Lookout Tower. (Also realizing at this point I had forgotten my water bottle back in the car and I was getting thirsty.)
Photographs taken while hiking around Olge Lake.
The third highest point in Indiana is located on Trail 10 near a 100 feet high fire tower. This point, known as Weed Patch Hill, has an elevation of 1,060 feet. A climb to the top of the tower is a must to see the sweeping views.
That was one spectacular Fall hike and it certainly won’t be the last time I visit Brown County State Park.