First, I want to give a shout-out to a few of our newsletter readers.  

Darrell Voelker in Harrison County suggested we visit Charlestown State Park and take the Rose Island trail hike, Trail #7. If I remember correctly, you take Trail #3 to Trail #7 and hike around what once, back in the day, was a theme park along the Ohio River. The trail features a lot of historical placards and structures to view. Be aware that getting there is quite the downhill trek, and for every good downhill is an awesome uphill! Thanks, Darrell.  

Dick Whicker suggested a couple of months back to watch some YouTube videos through the Adventures with RogerYouTube channel. They point out unique features and sites, mainly in Southern Indiana. I watched the one for Lawrence County and really learned a lot. I can’t wait to discover several places the videos pointed out. I have mentioned in the past Joe Palooka in Oolitic. I never knew that a theme park was once started in the area. Apparently, some of the initial construction still exists. I plan to look that up and several other sites mentioned in the video. Thanks, Dick.  

Lee Lewellen is always great at sharing interesting places to visit. Lee has been all over everywhere and has many photos to prove it. When we last talked, he mentioned Hindostan Falls, located on the White River in Martin County. It is a public fishing area now but used to be a small town back in the day. I have been to this location several times. The last time I was there, the River was so high that the falls were not visible. Lee also mentioned visiting Clinton, seeing Immigrant Square, and eating Italian at Gerrie’s. Those are on my list for future trips. Thanks, Lee.  

Pock Park is a Washington Township Park Northwest of Avon. You visit the park by entering through Pecar Park. I enjoyed my hike around this mature wooded area. There is some decent relief on several trails, and it’s a great place to escape outdoors. Few people know about it yet, so if you’re looking for a quiet place to explore, check it out.  

Southern Indiana appeared to be the destination these past few weeks. I visited some of my family’s favorite camping locations and reminisced. Versailles State Park and Jackson Washington State Forest bring back fond memories. In our April 2023 Newsletter, I mentioned Starve Hollow Lake, which was another of those locations). In Versailles, I remember hiking Trail #1 and seeing all the sinkholes in the area. Does anyone remember the Indian Tree marked on old maps? It is long gone now. You always saw the covered bridge entering the park and knew you were at your campground home. Now there is the Bradt Nature Preserve to add to your hiking pleasures.  

We would rough it at Jackson Washington State Forest in Brownstown when we camped—pit toilets and limited water spigots. I have such a wonderful wife who put up with these sorts of accommodations and also slept on the ground. We loved hiking Pinnacle Peak Trail #1, and if we were adventurous, we would also hike to High Point. Lots of ups and downs. While in the area, you have to traverse Skyline Drive. I can’t believe I rode my bike up and down this fire road in the pastgreat views and one of the best places to see the stars. Also, check out the fire tower for even better views.  

Earlier in July was the annual RAIN (R-ide A-cross IN-diana) Ride. If you saw hundreds of bikes traveling on US 40 from Terre Haute to Richmond, you now know why—a 160-mile ride in one day. You only live once. Try it out one year.  

The Hendricks County Fair put on a great show this year. Unfortunately, time did not allow for traveling to other fairs, but we’re looking forward to the State Fair as it starts this coming weekend. I can’t wait for the free stage music, hot air balloon race, rides, fair food, and exhibits.  

Send me those places to wander, and continue to have a wonderful summer! 

– Jeff Banning