Start 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 State Park.

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, 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,” said Ligman. “Ideally, we’d like to see people make walking outdoors a part of their lives.” 

Walking Week has been celebrated since 2007 and provides social opportunities and benefits to physical health for the heart, joints, and movement, mental stimulation, and mitigates the impacts of aging.  

All but one of the hikes will be in Spring Mill State Park (SMSP). One hike is in the nearby town of Mitchell.

Included in the hike is a Volkswalk. 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 may travel around the country or even different continents for Volkswalks. Come learn about this unique walking sport.

The schedule for the week is:

  • Saturday, April 1, 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 front of the Grissom Memorial for the Volkswalk hikes. The Volkswalk includes Trail 6, Trail 3, Trail 5, and parts of Trail 4 and 2.
  • Saturday, April 1, 3 p.m. – Meet Volunteer Anthony Hack at the Nature Center to hike Trail 2Trail 1, and part of Trail 4 along the lake. (Approximately 1 1/4 miles). 
  • Sunday, April 2, 1 p.m. – Meet Volunteer Anthony Hack at the Lakeview Activity Center to hike Trail 5. (1 mile)
  • Monday, April 3, 3 p.m. – Meet Naturalist Sheree Belt at the Grissom Memorial parking area to hike Trail 6. (1/4 mile)
  • Monday, April 3, 5:30 p.m. – Meet the Bedford Hiking Club at Friendship Park in Mitchell (at Main and 7th Streets) 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 4, 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 5 at 9 a.m. – Meet Sheree Belt near the restrooms at the Donaldson Shelter Parking Lot to hike Trail 4. (2 miles)
  • Thursday, April 6 at 1 p.m. – Meet Volunteer Tony Earl at the Twin Caves Parking Lot for a hike on Trail 3 (2. 5 miles)
  • Friday, April 7- 10 a.m. – Meet Friends John and Andrea Castrale at the Spring Mill pool parking lot to hike the scenic 2-mile Mountain Bike Trail.
  • Friday, April 7, 1 p.m. – Meet Teena Ligman at the Lakeview Nature Center to hike Trail 5 around the Lake (1 mile).

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.

Ligman said, “We are fortunate to have such wonderful places locally to hike and encourage people to come out and hike during Walking Week and to do the Spring Mill Trail Challenge in the coming year.

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