Brown County State Park is the largest Indiana State Park
This nationally-known 16,000 acre facility first opened to the public in 1929.
In the first few years as the park grew in popularity, several facilities
were developed. Abe Martin Lodge, several cabins and a saddle barn
were built, as was a swimming pool which was recently replaced with an
olympic-size pool. The roads, entrances and many trails were added and
improved during this time.
For those who would rather see the park on foot or horseback, many
miles of well-marked trails are available. There are miles of bridle trails
and hiking trails leading through the steep, forested
hills. The roadless Southwestern and eastern parts of the park can be
visited only by foot or horseback.
Ogle Hollow Nature Preserve, within the park, contains an attractive self-guiding nature
trail, which describes natural aspects of the park.
Picnickers have their choice of several picnic areas-some of which
have shelters equipped with fireplaces. Several have comfort stations
The park has a nature center in which a snake exhibit, bird-watching
room and other displays are housed. Naturalist services are available
year-round and are headquartered in the nature center, however, reduced
hours are in effect for the winter season.
The wildlife that inhabits Brown County State Park includes a variety
of species adapted to life in the forest and forest edges. Some mammals
such as the white-tailed deer, raccoon, gray squirrel, and various birds
including robin, white-breasted nuthatch, bluejay, cardinal, junco and
crow are seen by visitors. Wild turkey has also been sighted. An early
history of Brown County (Goodspeed, 1884) records that deer, bear,
wolves, and cougar(or panthers, as they were called then) were numerous,
even in the mid-1800's. The bears that once lived here left evidence of
their presence in the several bear wallows which remain such as Bear
Wallow Hill located north of Nashville. Local people say that at least
two bears once existed on Weed Patch Hill. Bears came from the
surrounding hills to roll in the mud, probably for relief from heat,
flies and external parasites.
Camping sites are available year-round. The campgrounds have
electrical hook-ups and modern comfort stations and showers. Brown County
also has a horseman's campground located in the extreme southern part of
the park. For those visitors who prefer all of the comforts of home,
Abe Martin Lodge contains guest rooms and two large meeting rooms, a dining room and a snack
bar. There are also family housekeeping cabins available in the park and
throughout Brown County.
The park offers a swimming pool, shelterhouses, playground equipment,
fishing on two lakes and a country store for picnic supplies and
The varied facilities of Brown County State Park make possible
enjoyable outdoor experiences for people with a wide range of tastes and
preferences. Brown County State Park has not only attracted millions of
individual tourists and families over the years, but has hosted many
special events as well. Camping groups, geocaching, mountain bike, horseman's events and
archery tournaments are some of the past attractions. In 1987, Brown
County served as the location of the Cycling Road Race for the 10th Pan