Alas, another year passes without making that coveted trip to Vermont to see the fabled leaves change color. This does not mean that you have to sit around inside and mope. There are plenty of great places around Indianapolis to see brilliant fall colors, and these destinations will be easier on your calendar and your wallet.
1. Brown County State Park and surrounding area
You probably expected this one, but that’s because it’s the best. The state park has great trails for hikers of every experience level, as well as great roads if you just want to cruise through. And if you’re less into the woods and more into shopping, then Nashville is nearby with plenty of little niche stores and fall foliage.
2. Fort Harrison State Park
Just east of the 465 loop, Fort Harrison is an easy and rewarding trip. With paved paths and events throughout the month, it is a great destination for families. The nice part is that you can make this drive in an afternoon and still have time to hit up the pumpkin patch.
3. Clifty Falls State Park
If you want to add something to your fall foliage experience, you should check out Clifty Falls near Madison, Indiana. This state park has some of the few waterfalls in the state. The park has a great view of downtown Madison, too. Sure it’s a little bit further to drive, but the experience is worth it.
4. Indiana Dunes State Park
If you’re looking to make a true day trip, then Indiana Dunes on the shore of Lake Michigan is a must. This state park is a great place to visit throughout the year, but during the fall it’s even better. The foliage explodes along the trails, which can be traveled on foot or by bike.
5. McCloud Nature Park
About 20 minutes west of Danville, McCloud Nature Park is a great place to visit on one of those crisp fall days. The best place to view leaves is on the restored 100-year-old truss bridge on the Big Walnut Crossing trail. All of the trails are less than a mile, so you could pick two or three to make a day out of it.
For more ideas on day trips, check out the Visit Indiana trip planner.