Fall and Spring Color
Fall and spring in southern Indiana are always beautiful. To better enjoy the colors of both these seasons, check our suggestion for places to visit to see fall color, or we have several driving routes recommended.
Fall color in southern Indiana normally begins in mid-late September and peaks the second or third week of October.
the yellow and golds of tulip poplars, locust and redbuds add vibrant color to the forest canopy and roadsides. There are also reds from the blackgum trees and sumac, and burnt orange from maples and sassafrass.
Fall flowers including yellow black-eyed susans, purple iron weed and bright yellow goldenrods add color to fields and roadside ditches. Croplands also add their own beauty as fields come alive with fall harvests.
Geese heading south and walnuts falling, making autumn an interesting time to visit the Forest. Bring your binoculars and your camera. The height of fall color is normally mid to late October. Here are some Options to view color on the Hoosier
Spring colors creeps gradually into the forest, with the trees along openings and roadsides the first to don spring color. The purple pink of redbud and the creamy white of dogwood make spring many visitor's favorite time to drive forest roads. The forest floor is also bright with trilliums, anemones and a host of other spring wildflowers. Come visit us during the Wildflower Foray held in the spring.
Driving routes for viewing fall and spring color -
Two routes are recommended through the Hoosier National Forest area with infinite variations down rural back roads.
Route 1 -
Route 1 loops through the northern part of the Forest southeast of Bloomington. Highlights include Lake Monroe with breath-taking views of the hills around the lake and the sparkling lake itself with speedboats and sailboats. We also recommend visiting the T.C. Steele Historic Site and walking through the restored gardens and home of this famous painter. Other stops include Nashville, a small historic town nestled in the hills is a retreat for artisans. Crafts and art are popular attractions for visitors in this quaint historic town. Brown County State Park is also on the route, one of the state's most beautiful parks. At the town of Story visit the general store, reminiscent of stores at the turn of the century. Also at Story is a quaint bed and breakfast, an orienteering course, and a large intricate limestone tree carved by a local sculptor at the road junction. A unusual historic road marker, dating to 1851, also stands along the road marking directions to various communities.
View from Hickory Ridge Lookout in the fall.
Two alternate routes begin at Tell City. One suggestion is to take the new Ohio River Scenic Byway along Hwy 66 through Magnet. Visit the communities of Fredonia, Artist Point, Alton, and stop at the Buzzard Roost overlook. The route is relatively remote, with spectacular panoramic vistas, and your chances of seeing wildlife are good. Route 2 follows the mapped route. Highlights of this route include the locks and dam on the Ohio River at Cannelton and the rural countryside. Route 3 is an alternative or extended loop through small rural communities and farmland.
The Hoosier’s color is starting to show in a slow and subtle way. A few trees are showing off but we are still a couple weeks away from high color but by next week you should start seeing some real change. In the towns along the road you will see ornamental trees and shrubs showing off a little more than the trees in the forest lands. Fall blooming flowers and mushrooms have really exploded with their excitingly bright and colorful hues. Days are in the 70’s and 80’s with nights down into the 50’s – perfect for that fall campout or hike! Remember, we have hunting seasons through the end of the year. Be sure to wear bright colored clothing when hiking along the trails.
Also check out the Region 9 Fall Color page which includes photos and information on fall color on all 15 eastern national forests.
Indian-Celina Lake Road 9/20/2016 Orange mushrooms on log 10/1/2016
Tower Ridge Road 9/28/2016 Berries on False Solomon Seal 10/1/2016 Boneset and Day Flower 10/11/2016 Blackwell Horse Camp 10/11/2016 Blackeyed Susans 10/11/2016