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On her big day, give mom getaway in Brown County

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It’s often referred to as the “Little Smokies.”

Brown County State Park truly resembles the Great Smoky Mountains. The scenery in this state park is spectacular, and the outdoor activities are endless.

Brown County State Park is Indiana’s largest state park. At nearly 16,000 acres, the park offers visitors the opportunity to get away from it all. Visitors may come for the day or stay for the weekend. Abe Martin Lodge offers beautiful rooms and an awesome aquatic center.

The fried chicken in the restaurant is second to none.

If you are looking for a great way to spend Mother’s Day this year, then consider a trip to Brown County State Park. There truly is something for everyone at this crown jewel of Indiana’s State Park system.


Brown County State Park has sites for all types of camping.

The modern campground is capable of hosting everything from giant recreational vehicles all the way down to small tents. Primitive sites get you away from the crowd. There is even a separate horseman’s campground.

All the campsites are nice; and the amenities, like the bath houses and playgrounds, are top notch.


Pack a lunch, grab your fishing poles and bank chairs and enjoy a relaxing fishing experience. Strahl Lake and Ogle Lake both offer great fishing opportunities in scenic settings.

These lakes aren’t over-fished, so you’ll have plenty of room to get away from the crowd and catch a few. Bass, bluegill, catfish and more can be caught in both of these lakes.


With nearly 20 miles of hiking trails, Brown County likely has your kind of hiking trail.

Some of the more adventurous mothers out there may want to tackle a long hike up and down a number of hills. Others may want to take a nice leisurely walk in the woods.

Both options, with plenty falling in-between, are available.

Mountain bike riding

If the mother you’re spending the day with is on the athletic side, then tackling the mountain bike trails of Brown County State Park would be a great way to spend the day.

In 2009, Bike Magazine listed Brown County State Park among the 33 best mountain bike trail systems in North America. If you’re looking for a workout on Mother’s Day, then mountain biking the park is the way to go.

Horseback riding

The Brown County Saddle Barn is located inside the state park.

They offer 35-minute and one-hour trail rides. Riders must be at least 7 years old, but there are no weight limits; so anyone 7 and older is good to go. Taking a trail ride is a great adventure the whole family can enjoy.

Mushroom hunting

If mom is a mushroom lover, then a basket of morels would be a wonderful gift.

The only thing that may be better than a gift of morels is spending time together hunting them in the forests of Brown County.

It is legal to collect mushrooms on state property in Indiana. State law prohibits collecting plants or picking flowers, but you can collect berries, fruits, nuts, fallen cones, mushrooms, leaves and greens.

Wishing all the moms out there the happiest of Mother’s Days.

See you down the trail.

Brandon Butler’s outdoors column appears Saturdays in the Daily Journal. Send comments to letters@dailyjournal.net.

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