Columbus, IN hikers: a local hiking group and some great local hikes
Updated: Jun 26, 2019
We all know that hiking can benefit your heart, mind and body. Being in nature brings some of these benefits, while the cardiovascular workout provides the rest. One nice thing about hiking is that almost everyone can find some level of hike that works for them, anywhere from a gentle walk to mountain climbing. In Bartholomew County, we are spoiled to have so many great hikes in the county - some of which are detailed on the Visit Columbus Indiana recreation page - including Anderson Falls, Touch the Earth Natural Area, as well as in neighboring counties, such as Brown County State Park and Muscatatuck Park. If you're willing to go a bit further afield, this 2017 CRH article has some great ideas.
A local hiking group called "All Who Wander", or the Mill Race Center Hiking Group, has been uniting local hiking fans for monthly hikes for almost four years. According to organizer Ed Niespodziani, the group goes on a local hike each month and will also visit of the state parks and trails throughout the state. They do day hikes, rather than backpacking, with trails ranging from 5 to 15 miles over all sorts of terrain. Any given hike will have 5-20 hikers ranging in age from 25 to 74. About three times a year, they go on a longer trip, such as Cumberland Gap in Kentucky or the Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania. Next summer they are planning a visit to the Pacific Northwest to hike the Northern Cascades, visiting historical sites and landmarks along the way. Ed describes the group as "an adventurous, fun group of people who enjoy the exercise and the great living theater of our Mother Earth". They are always open to new adventurers - whether it's for local, regional, or more distant hikes. Check the Mill Race Center website for Ed's contact information. You don't have to be a member of Mill Race Center to join the group.
Another group that may be of interest to women is Women Who Hike Indiana. This is a chapter of the national group, Women Who Hike, that empowers women through hiking & adventure culture. The group meets for hikes all around the state, and also shares information about hikes that may be of interest. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has a listing of other Indiana hiking groups.
What's your favorite local hike? If you know of any local hiking groups or regional groups that may be of interest to local residents, then please let us know.