Perennial favorites for fall foliage, Parke County and Brown County contain some of the most beautiful wooded acreage in the Midwest.
Turkey Run St. Pk, Shades St. Pk. and Pine Hills Nature Preserve are within an hour to hour fifteen minutes from the Southside of Lafayette. Turkey Run and Shades are within Parke County. Pine Hills is across the road from Shades, but lies within Montgomery County. (Subject to entrance fees)
All three lie along Sugar Creek and within large wooded acreage. High cliffs allow for incredible views along Sugar Creek. Pine Hills has two smaller streams which cut through the limestone/sandstone and feed into Sugar Creek. Shades (link) reputation for beauty was established long before the Europeans/Americans came to the area. Prospect Point overlook at Shades affords and awesome view of the Creek. Nearby Turkey Run (link) has an Inn, cabins and a restaurant on a high cliff over Sugar Creek. Sunset Point, a CCC structure, is below the Inn. It is well named as the overlook faces almost due west.
Below Cloverdale on US231 south, about an hour and half from Lafayette, Cataract Falls (link) is five minutes from 231. The falls form a series of step downs on Mill Creek leading into Cagles Mill Reservoir.
Following 231 South, itself worth driving for the foliage, about 2 hours is Spencer. To the east of Spencer lies McCormick’s Creek State Park. The first state park, McCormick’s Creek (link) boasts an Inn with a very good restaurant, as well as modern campground. McCormick’s Creek in on SR 46, taking 46 east is an excellent fall foliage route to Brown County.
Brown County is nationally known as one of the most beautiful areas in the Midwest for fall color. In fact it made Midwest Living best fall foliage list. Once clear-cut hills, the state park (link), of the same name, is over 15000 acres of mostly second growth forest. Within Brown County lies Yellowwood State Forest (link) as well as other small county and DNR sites.
While there, check out T.C.Steele’s museum/studio. (link)
Lake Monroe lies within both Brown and Monroe Counties. This flood control reservoir is surrounded by state and national preserved wooded areas. (link)
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