Kick-off Spring with Walking Week

MITCHELL– Celebrate Walking Week April 1-7, with a lineup of hikes to kick off spring in Indiana’s State Parks.  

Spring Mill State Park, the Friends of Spring Mill State Park, and the Bedford Hiking Club are partnering on a series of walks; mostly at Spring Mill Park but include two other walks in the area.

Teena Ligman

Teena Ligman, President of Friends of Spring Mill State Park, said there will be a different hike each of the seven days of various lengths and over different types of terrain, and at different times of the day; to have something for everyone.

“We want people to get outside and start walking and then keep walking right through the rest of the year. Ideally, we’d like to see people make walking outdoors a part of their lives,”  she added.

Walking Week was also recognized in a Proclamation by Governor Eric Holcomb signed this week. The Governor recognized the importance of walking for health and enjoyment. Walking Week has been celebrated since 2007 and provides opportunities for fellowship and companionship. The proclamation mentions benefits to physical health for the heart, joints, and movement, mental stimulation, and mitigates the impacts of aging.  

All but two of the hikes will be in Spring Mill State Park (SMSP). One hike is at Paynetown State Recreation Area on Lake Monroe, and another is in the nearby town of Mitchell.

Included in the hikes are two Volkswalks. Volkswalks are a German tradition that American soldiers brought back to America. Literally translated as people’s walk, the walks feature interesting routes through natural or historical/cultural areas. People who regularly do Volkswalks keep books to track their mileage and walks and travel around the country or even different continents for Volkswalks. Come learn about this unique walking sport.

The schedule for the week is:

  • Friday, April 1 – 10 a.m. – Meet John and Andrea Castrale at the Spring Mill pool parking lot to hike the scenic 2-mile Mountain Bike Trail.
  • Friday, April 1, 3 p.m. – Meet Teena Ligman and Linda Woods in the parking lot behind the Paynetown State Recreation Area off State Road 446 south of Bloomington. The group will have the option to hike the 6.2 miles (10K) or a 3.1 (5K) hike on the Pate Hollow Trail on the Hoosier National Forest. This is considered a Volkswalk but anyone is welcome to join us.
  • Saturday, April 2, 10 a.m. – Members from the Bedford Hiking Club will lead two groups on the Spring Mill Volkswalk.  There will be 10K (6.2 miles) and 5K (3.1 miles) hikes offered. Meet in the lobby of the Spring Mill Inn for the Volkswalk hikes. The Volkswalk includes Trail 3, Trail 5, and parts of Trail 4 and 2.
  • Saturday, April 2, 3 p.m. – Meet Anthony Hack at the Nature Center to hike Trail 2, Trail 1, and part of Trail 4 along the lake. (Approximately 1 1/4 mile).
  • Sunday, April 3, 1 p.m. – Meet Anthony Hack at the Lakeview Activity Center to hike Trail 5. (1 mile)
  • Monday, April 4, 3 p.m. – Meet Naturalist Sheree Belt at the Grissom Memorial parking area to hike Trail 6. (1/4 mile)
  • Monday, April 4, 5:30 p.m. – Meet the Bedford Hiking Club at Friendship Park on Main Street in Mitchell (across from the Railroad Café) to hike the Blue Jacket Trail with the Bedford Hiking Club. (2.6 miles) The Bedford Hiking Club does weekly walks. This is an opportunity to meet the group, and maybe start a new weekly routine of walking with them in interesting places.
  • Tuesday, April 5, 10 a.m. – Meet Teena Ligman at the Tulip Poplar Shelterhouse to hike Trail 7 and the Stagecoach Trail. (2 1/4 miles)
  • Wednesday, April 6 at 9 a.m. – Meet Sheree Belt near the restrooms at the Donaldson Shelter Parking Lot to hike Trail 4. (2 miles)
  • Thursday, April 7 at 1 p.m. – Meet Tony Earl at the Twin Caves Parking Lot for a hike on Trail 3 (2. 5 miles)

Ligman encourages people to come out the first week of April not only to enjoy Spring, but it’s an opportunity to walk every trail in the park, meet some new friends, see spring wildflowers and enjoy the outdoors.  She noted even if you aren’t able to come every day, you’ll have gotten a good start on completing the Spring Mill Trail Challenge and be more motivated to come back and finish.

“We are fortunate to have such wonderful places locally to hike and encourage people to come out and hike during Walking Week,” added Ligman.

For more information about the hikes, or Volkswalks, contact Teena Ligman at 812-278-0139.