Get Out This Spring

1By Farrah Alexander

As a Southern Indiana local,

you know describing this area as “the sunny side”

is little more than a cute tourism slogan.

If it’s sunny, you better get out and take

advantage because the next day very

well could be rainy, frigid, swampy hot

or just so intensely pollinated you

can’t bear to go outside. Sometimes, we

manage to fit in elements of all four

seasons in the course of one week, much

to the dismay (or delight?) of local

weather forecasters.


But during the spring, the sunny days are truly

beautiful. The lilies and tulips have bloomed,

leaving bursts of color everywhere you turn. The

weather is pristine – not too hot and not too cool

– just the perfect temperature to relax outside.

And we have plenty of wonderful options to

explore the area as a family. So, grab your nasal

spray and let’s go!


The Falls of the Ohio State Park (201 W.

Riverside Drive, Clarksville) is a fantastic place

to spend a nice day. My five-year-old Daniel is

obsessed with dinosaurs, so he loves climbing

over the huge rocks and discovering fossils among

the fossil beds. The park hosts many events with

experts who will guide you through the park and

educate you about things you probably wouldn’t

have noticed. After exploring the park, you can see

several exhibits in the air-conditioned interpretive

center. There are many perfect places to enjoy a

picnic overlooking the Ohio river nearby.

The Widow’s Walk (415 E. Riverside Drive,

Clarksville) is a beautiful Victorian mansion along

the Ohio River overlooking the Louisville skyline.

The Widow’s Walk has an ice creamery, coffee

shop and offers bicycle rentals. You can enjoy

your treats on the gorgeous porch overlooking

the river or explore the beautiful courtyards on

site. They also offer very reasonably priced kidfriendly

lunch items like corn dogs and chicken

nuggets. The bicycle rentals include tandem bikes

and bikes with child carriers attached. The Ohio

River Scenic Byway is right next to the Widow’s

Walk and is a great area to ride.

The Big Four Bridge in Jeffersonville is a

renovated railroad bridge that is open exclusively

to pedestrians. It’s the perfect length for a nice

family stroll with breaks to view the Ohio River,

spotting barges and steamboats. Once you reach

the Kentucky side, the kids can play at one of the

many nearby playgrounds. If you head back to

the Indiana side, there is a plethora of wonderful

restaurants within a short walking distance of

the bridge.

Perrin Family Park (Perrin Lane,

Jeffersonville) is a privately-owned park that is

well maintained and perfect for a family with

young children to explore. A paved walking path

surrounds a lake and is the ideal distance (just one

mile) for a leisurely walk that young children can

handle. At the dock, children can feed the ducks

and geese. There are plenty of picnic tables to enjoy

lunch shaded by the many surrounding trees.

The Farmer’s Market (202 E. Market St.,

New Albany) is open Saturday mornings from

10 a.m. until noon, until the second weekend in

May through October, the hours are extended to

8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The farmer’s market has tons

of unique items and tasty food you can’t just find

at your nearby grocer. They have local butchers,

hand crafted items, seasonal veggies, baked goods,

jams, and more. Located in the city center, you’re

in the perfect location to grab brunch at one of

the many delicious spots nearby.

Clifty Falls State Park (1501 Green Road,

Madison) is a beautiful, scenic park with gorgeous

waterfalls. The park has many hiking and walking

trails, some are easily accessible for small children

and some are better suited for experienced hikers.

Since the park is so large, you can easily find

a peaceful and quiet place to have a picnic or

just enjoy nature. There are campgrounds and

inns nearby if you’d prefer to stay overnight and

thoroughly experience the park.

The Historic District (Madison) along the

First, Second and Third Streets downtown contain

many of the town’s restored homes of the pre-

Civil War era. The area is simply charming and a

really lovely place to stroll and site-see. You can

pop in an antique shop, burger joint, boutique,

or just admire the historical buildings. Just a few

blocks away, you can walk along the banks of

the Ohio River.

Deam Lake State Recreation Area (1217

Deam Lake Road, Borden) is a spacious, wooded

park with many activities. The park offers fishing,

boating, and swimming. If you’re looking to spend

the night or weekend, there are campgrounds

available. There are many hiking trails of varying

difficulty levels available. Whether you’re making a

weekend of it or just spending the day, Deam Lake

is a great escape into nature not far from home.

If it’s sunny, you

better get out

and take advantage

because the next

day very well

could be rainy,

frigid, swampy hot…

Hidden Hill (1011 Utica Charlestown Road,

Jeffersonville) is a beautiful, sprawling botanical

garden featuring unique art sculptures owned by

local gardening guru Bob Hill. It’s a whimsical

place to walk around, explore and children will

love spotting the variety of flowers and looking for

monarch butterflies. Plus, the gardens provide an

incredible backdrop for photos of your kids! My

sister-in-law and photographer Valerie Johnson

loves going to Hidden Hill to take stunning photos

of my niece, Piper.

After so many days and weekends spent cooped

up in the house during the long winter, It’s such

a treat to get outside, expose yourself to some

fresh air and enjoy one of the many scenic areas

we have to enjoy both nature and time with your family.

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