If you’re looking for a short road trip destination this summer, then check out Mounds State Park in Anderson.
Here, you’ll find 6 miles of easy-to-rugged hiking trails, picnic areas, family camping and an incredible visitor center, which houses animals, reptiles and fish that you might encounter at the park.
Mounds is named after the 10 mounds built by the Adena and Hopewell cultures in 160 B.C. The mounds vary in size, but the biggest, which is aptly named The Great Mound, is the feature point of Trail 1.
At the visitors’ center, an interpretive naturalist gave an educational talk to our group, which included two different models of the mounds. She then sent us out on a hike to see the mounds with a photo-scavenger hunt list and a promise that if we returned with images of everything on the list, we would get a special surprise.
We hiked trails 1-3, and my children loved seeing the mounds. Even more, though, they loved the photo-scavenger list. They captured images of rushing water, animal tracks by the river, colorful beetles and a water snake. After two hours of hiking, they eagerly brought their images back to the nature center. The naturalist enthusiastically looked at the images, and even brought out a field guide to identify the animals and insects. She brought out a large prize box overflowing with trinkets from which my children each carefully selected a prize. We left the visitors’ center promising that we would return, and maybe even try The GPS History Adventure, a self-guided techno-trek through the past. Then we found a shady spot for a picnic to finish our day.
4306 Mounds Rd., Anderson | in.gov/dnr/parklake/2977.htm