Friday, June 24, 2011

Hiking at T.C. Steele State Historic Site

Our family experienced an exciting right of passage last weekend: our first hike without the backpack carrier. We had a sense from a previous long walk in the woods at Sodalis Nature Park a few weeks ago that the arrow was ready to hit the trail on his own two feet and we decided to test our theory at T.C. Steele State Historic Site in Brown County, Indiana. I wrote about our morning there for Visit Indiana last week.

Brown County has long been a favorite place for us to hike as a family (I've written about past hiking trips to Brown County State Park here). But the home of famous impressionist painter T.C. Steele was an even better location for the arrow's first "real" hiking experience. It featured flatter and shorter trails that were much easier for him to tackle. And yet because it's deep within the Hoosier National Forest, it's a beautiful spot.

We hit two of the trails: Wildflower Trail and the Trail of Silences. Each about 3/4 of a mile, there was some areas of steep incline and a few spots with challenging terrain, but he could either manage it himself or hitch a ride on dad's shoulders when it got too tough.

I loved watching him more deeply connect with nature. He could touch the leaves and pick up rocks. Can't do that while on dad's back.

I'll always love that carrier and I think baby wearing is great for traveling parents. It made hiking possible for our family back in his pre- and early-walking days. (And we'll use it again soon enough!) But it's nice to be free of that this summer.

Next week, I'll share some of our other favorite finds from the historic site.

If You Visit:
T.C. Steele State Historic Site
4220 T.C. Steele Rd., Nashville, Indiana
The site is open year round. Tours are available Tuesday-Saturday from 9 to 5 and Sundays from 1 to 5. Cost of a tour is $3.50 for adults and $2 for kids 12 and under.
Insider Tip: If you choose not to take a tour, visiting the site is free and you are welcome to roam the grounds. You can pick up a map/brochure outside the office building. We visited on a Sunday morning before they "really" open and were greeted warmly by staff. Plus, we had the place all to ourselves!

This post is a part of Photo Friday at Delicious Baby.