Take this advice: Go hike

No mountains, no canyons, no oceans, no deserts.

No problem.

If you love hiking, or only sort of like it, Indiana probably has something to offer you.

Especially if your goal is to get outside, get some exercise, and see an assortment of terrain, flora and fauna you might not otherwise see sitting at home.

Indiana’s state parks system alone offers a variety hiking trails that range from easy to moderate to rugged to breathtaking. And many are within easy driving distance of central Indiana.

Whether your old or young, in excellent shape or poor shape, or somewhere in between, hiking is an activity that just about anyone can enjoy. You don’t have to be a nature-lover or a rugged outdoors-type to take a hike in Indiana.

You simply have to have a desire to get outside and see what you might not realize is out there — anything from hardwood forests with towering 200-year-old trees to pristine spring-fed streams to thundering waterfalls to steep cliffs and bluffs that afford dazzling views of the great outdoors.

And if you happen to burn a few calories along the way and derive a deeper appreciation for being outside, so be it.

Today the Daily Journal is launching an occasional series on where to hike in Indiana, including state parks, state recreation areas and national forests.

Throughout the spring and summer, yours truly will visit some these locales, hike the signature trails (many of which have historic back stories), and share the experience with you.

Although Indiana isn’t renowned for mountain ranges, seashores or national parks, it does offer a variety of interesting and sight-filled hiking options for people of all ages and abilities.

From the Jurassic Park ambiance of Turkey Run to the rugged terrain of Shades to the sheer cliffs of Clifty Falls to the smooth scenic paths of Mounds, Indiana’s state parks and recreation areas offer satisfying opportunities for everyone.

So go ahead. Do it.

Go take a hike.

Rick Morwick is sports editor of the Daily Journal. He can be reached at rmorwick@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2715.