Indiana has a wide variety of recreational facilities and tourist attractions. Picnicking, camping, water sports, hiking, and other outdoor activities are popular, especially in the many state parks, state forests, and in the state’s one national forest. Indiana’s lakes and rivers provide game fish for anglers, and its fields and woodlands attract animal watchers and hunters. There are a number of state memorials that commemorate famous Hoosiers or events associated with the state’s history. At one time southern Indiana was noted for its health centers, including the resorts of French Lick, Dillsboro, and Martinsville, known for their mineral springs. French Lick still attracts visitors and conventions.
Hoosier National Forest covers an area of 78,000 hectares (193,000 acres) in the south-central part of the state. Noted for its scenic drives, the national forest also has facilities for swimming, picnicking, camping, hunting, and fishing. The Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, adjoining the large Lincoln State Park in Spencer County, includes the site of the cabin where Abraham Lincoln lived between the ages of 7 and 21 and the grave of his mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln. The George Rogers Clark National Historical Park, honoring the Revolutionary War colonel who led American forces in the conquest of the Old Northwest, stands at the former site of Fort Sackville at Vincennes. The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore includes 6,098 hectares (15,067 acres) of beaches, dunes, and hinterlands along Lake Michigan.
There are 35 state parks and recreation areas in Indiana, most providing overnight accommodations. McCormick’s Creek State Park, northwest of Bloomington, dates from 1916 and was the first state park established in Indiana.
Brown County State Park, the largest, covers about 6,350 hectares (15,700 acres) of rolling hill country in south central Indiana. Known for its scenic beauty, the park is extremely popular with tourists and landscape painters. Indiana Dunes State Park extends for 5 km (3 mi) along Lake Michigan. Its sand dunes, broad sandy beaches, cattail marshes, and woodlands make it an area of unusual natural beauty. Turkey Run State Park, in west central Indiana, is noted for its rugged sandstone canyons and winding streams and for its beech, black walnut, and tulip trees. In Spring Mill State Park, in the southern part of the state, some of the state’s largest tulip trees and white oaks form part of the park’s extensive area of woodlands.
The park is also the site of a restored frontier village including a working water-powered grist mill and sawmill, log cabins, shops, and houses. A panoramic view of the Ohio River and the Kentucky shoreline can be seen from a bluff that rises about 120 m (about 400 ft) above the river in Clifty Falls State Park, in southeastern Indiana. The park is named for its waterfall which is 27 m (90 ft) high. The largest Native American earthworks in the state is preserved in Mounds State Park, which lies on the White River just east of Anderson. Pokagon State Park, on Lake James in northeastern Indiana, is a popular center for winter sports.
There are more than a dozen state memorials in Indiana. In Angel Mounds State Historic Site is a well-preserved group of Native American earthworks. The memorial lies along the Ohio River near Evansville. Indiana Territory State Memorial, at Vincennes, preserves the building that served as the capitol of Indiana Territory from 1800 to 1813, when the seat of government was transferred to Corydon. The Corydon Capitol State Historic Site, in Corydon, preserves the building that served as the second territorial capitol and, after 1816, as the first state capitol. Just north of Lafayette is the site of the Battle of Tippecanoe, where on November 7, 1811, William Henry Harrison’s forces defeated the Native American confederacy that had been formed by the famous Shawnee chief Tecumseh.
New Harmony State Historic Site, in the town of New Harmony in southwestern Indiana, includes buildings of the early 19th-century settlements of Harmony and New Harmony. Of the 12 state forests in Indiana, the largest are Clark State Forest, Harrison-Crawford State Forest, Morgan-Monroe State Forest, and Yellowwood State Forest. All of the state forests offer a variety of recreational opportunities. "Indiana" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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