2nd Annual New Year's Day Hike

For the second straight year, we bundled up, and set out on a New Year's Day hike. (A family tradition I hope to continue for many years to come.) Our 2014 trip was to Turkey Run State Park, and while I don't have many photos from that hike, I did find these three on Instagram. [1] [2] [3]

For 2015, I wanted to go somewhere we hadn't been before. It's hard to find new places to explore in Indiana, but I'd heard about a couple of off-the-beaten-path nature preserves near the small town of Attica.

Portland Arch Nature Preserve was the larger of the two parks we visited. What a hidden gem! Here, a pristine creek runs through a wooded valley flanked by massive sandstone cliffs. We had a great time exploring the frozen landscape. The almost fluorescent green moss provided a stark contrast to the barren winter browns. I've read that the presence of moss and lichens is an indicator of good air quality. After a few deep breaths, I can attest to this.

Tip: Click to enlarge. Use the 'Left' and 'Right' arrow keys to navigate the gallery.

A short drive from the Portland Arch we found the Fall Creek Gorge Nature Preserve. The frozen ice here made the initial stream crossing quite treacherous. Swirling water has eroded the bedrock into a series of "potholes", which over time, have created a unique topology. A short footpath leads to a waterfall at the head of the gorge where I was unable to convince the kids to take a polar plunge. Maybe next time.

What others are saying...

Another fine bunch of photos plus commentary. And a really good reminder that there are interesting places to go and do nearby, wherever home happens to be. Amazing to see all that green on New Year's Day in Indiana.

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