+daggy Posted January 6, 2011 Share Posted January 6, 2011 The Fall Picnic Planning Team wanted to celebrate the Picnic’s 10th anniversary in a big way. So, to start with we will be bring you to one of Indiana’s most beautiful state parks, SPRING MILL. Beautiful Spring Mill State Park offers visitors many things to do and it does not all involve nature trails and playgrounds. Located in Mitchell, Indiana, the park contains a pioneer village, caves, astronaut, Gus Grissom's memorial and of course hiking trails. There is plenty to keep a family busy for the day at Spring Mill even if the entire family has different interests. The Grissom Memorial honors Hoosier astronaut Virgil "Gus" Grissom, one of the seven Mercury astronauts and America's second man in space. The Memorial tells the story of Gus Grissom's life and contributions to the space program. Exhibits include Grissom's space suit, one of the space capsules he flew in and many artifacts from his youth and adulthood. Step back in time while strolling through the Pioneer Village. This pioneer village has a large water-powered grist mill that the park uses to produce corn mill. The 19 buildings in the village offer a look at many types of businesses that were in a village during the 1800's. There is a school, mill office, garden house with a live garden, mercantile (with many types of products available for sale), residences, spring house, carriage house, blacksmith shop, meeting house, saw mill, apothecary shop, distillery, tavern, pottery shop, leather shop, Granny White's house, and a weaver's shop. There are three nature preserves inside the park: Donaldson Cave, Donaldson Woods, and Mitchell Karst Plain. There are five caves inside the park; Donaldson, Bronson, Hamner and Twin Caves. The caves are currently closed due to the White Nose Syndrome that is affecting bats in other parts of the United States and that Indiana is trying to keep from infecting the caves here. Hopefully, we will see them reopened in time for the picnic. If it is hiking you are looking for, there are 8 trails inside the park which range from easy to rugged and range in length of .375 miles to a long rugged 2.5 miles. Each of these trails offers a unique look at the park. The longest trail is a long loop trail which passes the Donaldson Cave overlook, passes through dense woods, to Bronson Cave, through the Donaldson Woods Nature Preserve and back to the Donaldson Picnic area. Other activities that you may take part in are boating on the lake with a private boat, camping, Twin Cave Boat Tours, fishing, biking and of course the nature center always has programs available. And yes, this is a geocache friendly park. Jill Vance, Park Naturalist, hosts an annual geocaching event in February. Mark your calendar now for Fall Picnic weekend, September 9 – 11th. The cache page and website will be available in March. Quote Link to comment
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