Are you stressed?
Let’s be honest, everyone’s stress levels are up right now! Stress impacts our bodies in ways we sometimes don’t even notice. Many of us have been spending more time inside staring at a glowing screen, which can cause us to feel sluggish. Science has shown that nature can be healing to our bodies and minds. One study published by Frontiers in Psychology said spending 20-30 minutes connecting with nature, regardless of the activity, at least three times and week will significantly lower your body's stress hormones. They cleverly call this taking a “nature pill.”
Unplug and recharge your battery at these tranquil parks and paths in southern Indiana.
Visit These Parks for a Peaceful Getaway
Did you know there are four state park recreation areas in Clark and Floyd counties? You’ll find trails, lakeside vistas, fishing holes, camping spots and picnic areas at Clark State Forest, Deam Lake, and Charlestown State Park.
Falls of the Ohio State Park is known for its exposed Devonian-era fossil beds and Interpretive Center. But did you know it’s also home to the Woodland Loop Trail and a national wildlife conservation area? Stroll the grounds, find a nearby picnic spot, then watch for the birds that frequent the river’s edge like oriole, heron, kingfisher and majestic bald eagles.
Charlestown State Park’s six marked trails—some more rugged than others—are lined with wildflowers and great views of Fourteen Mile Creek and the Ohio River. You’ll find the Rose Island exhibit near Trail 3. Take a serene walk back in time as you tour the once-grand 1920s amusement park grounds to see remains of its entrance, fountain and swimming pool.
New Albany, Jeffersonville and Clarksville have green municipal parks and trails that provide cool shade for an impromptu picnic or quiet reading spot.
Walk or Ride to Relieve Stress
The Ohio River Greenway is 7.5 miles of paved pathway that runs alongside the Ohio River. Soak up some sun with a morning jog or an afternoon bike ride along the water’s edge. The picturesque views alone will calm and relax you! On your walk or ride, stop at Ashland Park in Clarksville along the Greenway for a beautiful view of Louisville’s skyline and don’t forget to bring your camera.
For an energy-booster, bike across the Ohio on the Big Four Pedestrian Bridge, a 1-mile trip from Jeffersonville’s Big Four Station Park to Louisville’s Waterfront Park. Bicycle rentals are available at nearby Widow’s Walk Ice Creamery or LouVelo bike sharing stations. Walk the bridge at daytime and watch the mighty river barges pass underneath. At night, feel the breeze as you gaze at Louisville’s spectacular city lights shining on the water.
At the base of Big Four Bridge, enjoy a frozen yogurt or light snack from Pearl Street Treats at Big Four Station Park. The park’s pavilion, picnic tables, and gently rolling hills are great spots to sit back and take it easy. Remember, downtown Jeffersonville restaurants are within walking distance from Big Four Station. Wind down and dine with family and friends at a cozy gastropub, riverside restaurant or elegant bistro—what a great way to end a relaxing day!
Southern Indiana is home to a variety of exciting outdoor recreational activities for you to enjoy when visiting.