The Hoosier’s Mules come to Otis Park August Park Program Presentation

BEDFORD – The August program will be a bit different than most.

Starting at the Otis Park Bath House at 6 p.m. on August 23, the program on the Hoosier National Forest’s mules will include an indoor photo presentation led by Rod Fahl and Summer McDuffee from the US Forest Service.

Hoosier National Forest - News & Events
The newest four-legged employee on the Hoosier National Forest, Lollie. Pictured here with Wilderness Ranger Rod Fahl. Photo by Summer McDuffee.

Fahl is the Hoosier’s Wilderness Ranger and McDuffee is the Wilderness Trails Technician. Together, and with the mule team’s help, they are the on-the-ground caretakers of the Charles Deam Wilderness.

The second part of the program includes actually getting to meet the mules. Fahl plans to bring the mules and some of the primitive equipment used in the Wilderness to Otis Park.

He said, “You can tell people about the mules, and show them pictures, but it makes a bigger impact if they can stand next to these gentle hard-working animals and see the equipment that the mules enable us to use and stay within the Wilderness guidelines.”

Hoosier National Forest - Special Places
Mule working in the Hoosier National Forest. Photo by Summer McDuffee.

Fahl said most Wilderness users have no idea how much goes into hauling gravel into a wilderness area to repair a muddy trail or reroute a trail when users have destroyed it with cut-throughs. He thinks people will appreciate what these animals can accomplish and how Wilderness management varies from management in other areas of the Forest.

The free, one-hour educational program starts at 6 p.m. and includes time for questions. This is part of the Bedford Parks Program series which presents a different program every month. The historic Otis Park Bath House is located between the Red Brick Mansion and the Golf Course office at 607 Tunnelton Road east of Bedford.

Please RSVP to the Park office for the program by August 19, at 812-275-5692, or email so we have enough handouts and chairs ready.

Mark your calendars for the September 27 program on the Pros and Cons of Private Landowners Leasing Hunting Rights by Rob Haubry, a forestry and wildlife consultant.