This is Southern Indiana. We are lucky to have mild winters and plenty of outdoor activities making Clark and Floyd Counties a great winter getaway or cabin fever trip.
Top 3 Winter Outdoor Activities
With or without snow, outdoor winter activities can keep you traveling this winter. Let’s spotlight some great outdoor adventures you can have in Southern Indiana. Try these fun outdoor activities:
1. Get out and HIKE!
Winter hikes are the best! Cool weather hiking has so many advantages. NO BUGS! Fewer people on trails. Sight lines that you don’t get any other time of year. And if there is snow, a winter hike turns magical. And then there are the waterfalls. If you read “Three Zen Waterfalls to Visit this Spring”, those falls are worth a visit in winter, too.
A top winter hiking destination in Floyds Knobs, Indiana is Mount Saint Francis Center for Spirituality, a short drive from New Albany. It’s a local hikers’ favorite spot for its quiet and peaceful natural setting. The sanctuary offers 400 acres of hiking trails and paved walking paths open to the public. This pristine nature area features a lake and creeks. As you venture down its trails, you will find beautiful shrines and benches to rest or sit and reflect. Check out Mount Saint Francis’s trail map to find the perfect trail for you. Select an easy walk to the lake and meadows or go for a strenuous long hike through wooded hills.
Take advantage of the dormant trees by going on a ridgeline hike. One of the best ridgeline hikes in the area can be found on Trail 6 at Charlestown State Park in Charlestown, Indiana. It’s a 2.3-mile rugged trail with picturesque views of the Ohio River, as well as unique limestone rock formations and an over 12-foot waterfall. Without foliage, there are several perfect unobstructed views, so get your camera ready.
While you are in the Charlestown area, there is a hidden gem that turns magical in winter, Nine Penny Branch Nature Preserve. This moderate trail takes you down a deep ravine to reveal a limestone bedrock lined with Hemlocks and other evergreen trees. The tranquil flowing creek flows into pools to a small waterfall. The creek crossing to a loop trail is worth the effort as you can admire some of the area’s oldest poplar and beech trees.
These are just a few of the area’s great hiking trails. Explore hiking and walking destinations in Southern Indiana.
2. Go on a Public Art Adventure!
A favorite winter activity in Southern Indiana is exploring all the rich outdoor art on display. Make it fun by creating your own Art Scavenger Hunt! Let’s hone in on two communities that will allow you to create your own walking tour of sorts: Jeffersonville and New Albany. Walking the two downtown districts will offer you an array of art on display, from murals and sculptures to outdoor art exhibits. First stop in a local coffee shop or tea house for a hot beverage to sip as you stroll and then let the art adventure begin. To get you started, find these featured public art pieces:
- Historic Flood Wall Murals
- Digital Gallery, Story Walk, painted Water Tank and Gallery Wall at the NoCo Arts & Cultural District
- "Circum", a paddle wheel sculpture on the waterfront
- Bonus: “I am Woman”, a 20-foot metal sculpture off the beaten path from the others. (Hint: it is near Quartermasters Station.)
Downtown New Albany
- The Search, a thirteen feet long, eight feet high, and seven feet wide bronze sculpture at the Floyd County Library
- Landscape, a life-sized bonz figure at Bicentennial Park
- Alley Exhibit at Bourne – Schweitzer Gallery
- Bonus: Multiple Alley Murals. Hint: The alley sits between Pearl and Bank streets.
3. Take a Scenic Drive!
Not up for venturing out in the colder weather? Go for a scenic drive. Clark and Floyd counties are home to a national designated driving tour.
Take the Ohio RIver Scenic Byway. It is one of only 14 designated scenic byways in the U.S. Get gorgeous views of the Mighty Ohio, Indiana Knobs and Downtown Louisville, while you explore the Southern Indiana countryside and small towns.
Explore the country roads of Floyds Knobs with epic views of Southern Indiana and the Louisville skyline. Here are a few suggestions of twisty and hilly roads with the best views of the surrounding region: Skyline Drive, Old Vincennes Road, Paoli Pike (also known as Indiana’s Historic Pathways South Spur, and Budd Road to Blunk Knob (Note: Blunk Knob road closes for various weather conditions).
Whether you walk, hike or drive, Floyd and Clark counties will give you winter outdoor experiences to shake off those winter blues and cure your cabin fever.
Prefer to spend the colder days indoors? Check out our Indoor Fun blog for more information on our top indoor attractions, and don't forget to book your stay to make sure you don't miss out on any of the fun!