Elyssa Everling: Experience all that Indiana falls have to offer

Autumn in Indiana is the perfect time to get outside and explore what nature has to offer.

After a season of lush greens and bright flowers, the attention turns to the trees as they change colors and offer a spectacular show of the beauty of nature. Living in Johnson County offers many places to see the colors, both locally and just a short drive to surrounding areas.

Johnson County Public Library supports outdoor spaces that are perfect for an autumn stroll. The Urban Forest, located on South Street in Franklin, has a StoryWalk, Little Free Library, small trail and trees planted after the 2008 flood. The trees have grown quite a bit and are a perfect way to stay local and view the colors.

Windisch Park, located in Bargersville, offers a StoryWalk, Little Free Library, playground and a small wooded area. This would be perfect for children to enjoy the cool autumn days, read a story and take a walk.

Finally, the Trafalgar Branch has a native prairie with a half-mile trail throughout, as well as a StoryWalk, Little Free Library, Blessing Box and Seed Library. Late September and early October may be just past the peak for some of the flowers, but nothing beats the golden hues of the grasses, not that I’m biased.

If you’re looking to take the family on a day trip, Central Indiana offers several places to visit as well.

To the south, Brown County State Park is a wonderful place to go. Located in Nashville, the wooded area offers trails, horseback riding, camping and other activities for all ages.

Hoosier National Forest, just south of Nashville, is a federally protected area that offers trails for walking, fishing, camping, picnicking and other activities in a wooded area that is known for the beautiful colors of the trees in autumn.

If you’re looking to go north, Fort Harrison State Park, located in Indianapolis, offers an oasis in the heart of the city. You can view the changing colors while hiking trails, riding horseback or camping.

Another great place to view the colors is Eagle Creek Park, Indianapolis’ largest park. This park, located on a reservoir, has more than 10 miles of trails, places to picnic and other activities for the family.

To add to those experiences, the library offers several items in our Library of Things to help you get the most out of your outdoor experiences and make memories.

Birding Backpacks are available to borrow for two weeks at a time. Each backpack has two binoculars, one for you and one for your kiddo, birding books, a scavenger hunt guide, a set of bird ID cards and a fun birding bingo game.

For people with colorblindness, we offer Enchroma glasses that help correct red-green colorblindness and will allow you to experience the beauty of the changing trees.

Finally, we offer outdoor board games and musical instruments that would be perfect to take on your camping trip. Visit PageAfterPage.org/LOT for other library items you can borrow this fall.

Wherever you decide to visit this autumn, we hope you take the time to get out and experience all that Indiana, and your Library, has to offer.

Elyssa Everling is an adult librarian at the Trafalgar branch of the Johnson County Public Library. Library staff members share in writing this bi-monthly column for the Daily Journal. Send comments to [email protected]