The Cardinal Greenway is a pleasant hike through the Whitewater Gorge area and cityscape of Richmond, Indiana. A side trail that leads through Springwood Lake Park takes you to Thistlethwaite Falls, well known for Ordovician fossils.
Hueston Woods State Park has camping, a rustic lodge, nature center, wildlife rehabilitation center, archery range, and marina. The grounds also include the Hueston Woods State Nature Preserve, which is home to an old-growth, nearly virgin, forest.
Nestled in the scenic rural landscape is the Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary, which offers more than 700 acres of forest, meadow, prairie, and pond habitats to explore, plus a spectacular variety of songbirds, birds of prey, and waterfowl to spy upon.
General Butler State Resort Park offers more than 8 miles of trails through upland forests and a retired ski resort that provides excellent valley views. The Two Rivers restaurant is an excellent place to grab a bite to eat.
Nestled into the hillsides of Whitewater Memorial State Park, the trail passes through two great nature experiences, the Hornbeam Nature Preserve and Red Springs. Portions of the trail are rugged, and if the lake is high the Lakeshore Trail to the Observation Deck might be impassable.
Although there are many grand old trees in this unique sanctuary, the serene nature of the quiet woods qualifies Shrader-Weaver Woods as exceptional. Visit in spring for the wonderful wildflowers, and remember everything in Shrader-Weaver Nature Preserve is protected.
The trails at Hardy Lake State Recreation Area take you through a forest of sugar maple, beech, and oak trees as well as pine stands. The trails skirt the edges of the lake, providing multiple wildlife- viewing opportunities.
The Chilo Lock 34 Museum contains interactive displays about the Ohio River and the history of the area, while Crooked Run Nature Preserve is the perfect place to view waterfowl, songbirds, birds of prey, and some wetland-dependent mammals.
By far one of the most beautiful hiking locations in the Tri-State area is Clifty Falls State Park and Clifty Canyon Nature Preserve. It just also happens to be one of the most difficult, with a brief tunnel and incredible waterfalls.
The hikes in '60 Hikes Within 60 Miles' cover three states and 25 counties. I've divided them here into smaller sections of hikes that are located close together: Around I-125, the Little Miami River, the edge of Appalachia, Brookville Lake, Southern Indiana and Northern Kentucky.
Selmier State Forest includes a pleasant stroll along the West Vernon Fork of the Muscatatuck River, through pine stands and mixed hardwood forests. In 2008, portions of the forest were harvested to remove trees damaged or destroyed by a shearing windstorm and Hurricane Ike.
If you like fossils, you are going to love this hike. The 475-million-year-old Ordovician limestone, rich in fossils, is exposed in some locations. In those areas, one can easily see fossilized brachiopods, bryozoans, horn corals, and crinoids. Collecting fossils in the state park is not permitted. (Bummer.)