Shauna and I weren’t able to do our normal routine of a trip to the Smokey Mountains for Spring Break this year, but we were able to get away for a few days to Brown County Indiana. The ideal trip for us is a place where I can get in a nice bike ride and Shauna can shop and look at stuff, and we can get a scenic hike in. Eli told me that Nashville Indiana was the shopping capital of the region and that he guaranteed she would like it. Of course for me Brown County State Park has the best network of mountain bike trails in the lower Midwest. When I told Shauna my idea she was a bit skeptical at first, but when I started reading off the names of the some of the stores, like Sweatea’s Tea Shop, and The Crystal Sources Rock Shop she was all in.
Matt contemplates fire.
Boiling eggs for breakfast
Getting to the Bloomington area from the South used to be a bit of a hassle and required driving two lanes through towns. Now interstate 69 from Evansville makes the trip way faster. We were there in just a bit over 3 hours. To save some money we stayed at Yellowood State Forest. Indiana State Parks are nice, but have expensive entry fees for out of state visitors, Yellowood State Forest was free to enter and 13 dollars to camp. We had a great night camping and a great hike on the well maintained trails. I got to play with my MSR stove which is always fun.
The next day Shauna dropped me off at Hestitation Point Cycles which is less than a mile from the Brown County Trailhead, this saved me from paying to drive into the park. The guys at the shop have no problems with people parking there to ride and they have all kinds of stuff that you might need.
Recent rain meant this was the wettest I’d ever ridden Brown County, which doesn’t mean much since I’ve only ridden it three times. 99.9% of the trails were dry with just some wet spots here and there. The Trails at Brown County are like a dream, they flow, and flow and flow. I was just riding at a casual pace and taking everything in and covered nine miles in an hour. I had told Shauna I would be back in 3 hours but it was nearly 5 hours, I was in trance.
A standout trail that I have to mention is Bobcat, which I hadn’t ridden before. It is handbuilt and has some super narrow benchcut. It drops way down into a steep hollow and just clings to the edge in places. It requires you to stay 100% focused or bad things will happen.
Back in Nashville Shauna was having a great time checking out all the stores, despite going to the State Park which is only 2 miles away I’d never actually been to Nashville. There were tons of shops and things to look at. It wasn’t that busy, but it wasn’t dead either. We stayed right downtown at a little cabin which was super nice and cheaper than most hotel rooms I’ve stayed. The owner said the president of Trek Bikes had stayed there once. Another highlight was Big Woods Pizza and Brewing Company. It is right across the street from where we stayed and offers some of the most delicious pizza I’ve ever had.
So in conclusion we highly recommend Nashville Indiana, Yellowood State Forest, and Brown County State Park for a fun getaway! There’s something for everyone.