Shades State Parke Friday, February 10, 2012 By Sarah Zull
Born and raised in southern Indiana I was totally devastated when I learned that we would be moving to flat Montgomery county. I missed the deep green woods around Lake Monroe, the limestone cliffs and steep treacherous paths through the hills. Then I heard about Shades. A reasonable seventeen mile drive from Crawfordsville, straddling Montgomery and Park counties, Shades is well worth the drive. Peaceful wooded valleys with Sugar Creek running through its middle, it is a perfect place to get away for a day with friends or just a quiet place to go and think. Trails are available for easy leisurely strolls or for a more grueling hike, steep twisting climbs through sandstone ravines. No matter what season it is, there will be something new and beautiful to see. In the spring, hundreds of different wildflowers cover the forest floor. Into September and October the lush green canopy flames to bronze, scarlet and yellow to fall and make a crunchy carpet for the hikers. And when snow comes that is no reason not to go, it only makes the woods more lovely and peaceful, not to mention the fact that hiking is free in the winter. The amazing thing is that so many people are unaware of this stunningly beautiful park just a short drive away. With plenty of parking and picnic pavilions, it is an ideal place for a family reunion or barbecue. If you have never been, do not wast this mild winter, go take a walk or if you wait even when spring comes the entrance fee is just $5.00 a car, for state-residents. Need to slow down and get away? Go to Shades, and enjoy the incredible soothing beauty of nature.