Brown County State Park
Brown County State Park in Indiana is an hour and a half north of Louisville. This gem of a park is perfect for a day or weekend trip.
Brown County State Park has several different family fun activities.
When we think of a fall outing, Brown County State Park comes to mind. Obviously, outdoor options are great for fall. One of our writers spent a weekend with her kids exploring Brown County and they just loves the state park.
Admission to the park (as of 2020) is $9 per car for out-of-state and $7 per car for in-state.
Brown County State Park has lots of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. The trails are all clearly marked, and you can pick up a map at the entrance that will tell you the difficulty level of each trail. My kids and I really enjoyed hiking around Ogle Lake on Trail #7. We also enjoyed walking up the West and North Lookout Towers, and the Firetower.
Here is a helpful link to the property map!
Scenic Spots & Picnicking
Also, we loved taking pictures in each of the seven picture frames that are part of “The Seven Vista Challenge” around the park. They are located at vista points off the roads through the park. If you can’t locate one, you can sneak a peak at the duplicates hanging on the wall at the Lodge by the main check in desk and gift shop. Each sign indicates where that frame can be found.
When visiting Brown County State Park, it’s a good idea to pack a picnic! There are lots of picnic areas including tables at scenic overlooks, cabin shelters with fireplaces, and areas with playgrounds and restrooms nearby. Look around for the best spot for your family because my kids loved playing on several of the playgrounds around the park. You can find a picnic spot near a playground.
Brown County State Park Nature Center
At Brown County State Park, one of the fun things we really enjoyed was visiting The Nature Center. It has a variety of exhibits and displays, as well as ongoing events (even during Covid). The Nature Center also has indoor bathrooms, an outdoor amphitheater, and a shelter with picnic tables.
Horseback Riding and Hay Rides
Are you looking for horseback riding options? If so, there are 70 miles of horse trails that visitors can enjoy with their own horses, or enjoy guided horse trails or pony rides at the Saddle Barn.
At the time of our visit, the 2.2 mile trail ride (half an hour long) was $21 each. The 3.3 mile trail (about an hour long) was $31 each. Trail rides leave from the Saddle Barn all day long between 9am and 5pm, seven days a week. Another thing fun to not to be missed are the hayrides on Friday and Saturday nights for $4 per person.
If you want to have an extended stay, there are lots of options for overnight stays at Brown County State Park. There are cabins, tent camping sites, RV camping sites, and a lodge. Abe Martin Lodge has a restaurant and indoor aquatic center. Abe Martin Lodge was built in 1932 and named after a cartoon character.
The Aquatic Center inside the lodge features a zero entry pool, water slide, water channel, fountains, water volleyball and basketball, and a whirlpool with a waterfall. Our friends at Indy with Kids went there and have a great, informative post – click here.
Did you know there’s a lot more to do in this area? Near Brown County State Park is Nashville, Indiana, with over 250 specialty shops, Brown County Historical Society’s Pioneer Village, a winery, and a golf course. There’s a lot to do in Brown County.
Read our post about the fun Zoo’Opolis experiences in Brown County, IN.
If you are looking for more family- fun travel options near Louisville, Click here.