Destination: Brown County

The beauty of Brown County displayed this spring. (Submitted photo)

The beauty of Brown County displayed this spring. (Submitted photo)

By Justin Moran

As the spring weather starts to brighten, it’s a great time to explore some of the great sights Indiana has to offer.  One such experience can be found at Brown County, about an hour south of Indianapolis.  Brown County State Park is the largest and most popular in the state, boasting 1.3 million annual visitors.  The park is best known for its scenic views in the fall as leaves change colors, but also features a number of trees that flower during the spring.  This weekend, Brown County leaps into spring by celebrating with a trio of events for friends or family to enjoy.

The 13th Annual Indiana Wine Fair will be held April 25 at the Story Inn, which was established in 1851.  The finest wines from all over the state will be tasted in complementary one-ounce pours from 12:30 to 7 p.m.  Throughout the day, guests will be able to enjoy live music from singer-songwriter Noah Smith, as well as a pair of other local bands.  The Indiana Wine Fair is the largest event that includes only wines from Indiana. Admission is $30, although designated drivers may join for $10. Guests must be 21 years of age or over.

If you’re looking for a different kind of taste, the 3rd Annual Morel & Music Festival will also be taking place, from April 23-25.  This festival combines love for mushrooms with local music.  By day, the whole family can enjoy cooking demonstrations, seminars, and guided Morel hunts including the Indiana State Championship Morel Hunt. At night, the festivities switch over to music, with artists and bands from all over the country. Admission costs vary, and single-day passes are available as well as those for the entire weekend.

Finally, to enjoy the beautiful outdoor scenes the park has to offer, the 30th Annual Wildflower Foray will be held April 24-26. Throughout the weekend, groups will be able to hike through the park, and hear speakers share about all realms of wildflowers in Brown County and Monroe County. The Wildflower Foray culminates in the “Flowers, Friends and Food” dinner, which costs $10 per person to attend. “We have a tally of flowers that we’ve been counting now for more than 30 years,” said Jim Eagleman, a DNR naturalist from the park. “It’s a fun event that people have been coming to for a long time.”

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