If you want to accomplish your goals, write them down.
Experts often repeat this sage advice in self-help seminars and articles. I’ve learned to believe it and have long been an advocate of pushing one’s self to experience new adventures and to repeat those enjoyed in the past.
So for 2016, I resolve to experience these Indiana outdoor opportunities.
Mountain biking in Brown County
Brown County State Park opened to the public in 1929. Over the years, Brown County has elevated its status as a travel destination to a national level.Tourists from across the country make it a point to explore the park during the breathtakingly beautiful display of colorful leaves each fall.In 2009, Bike magazine listed Brown County State Park among the best 33 mountain bike trail systems in North America. I’m working on being in better shape in 2016, so tackling the mountain bike trails in the park will be a great way to spend the day testing my stamina.
Perch fishing on Lake Michigan
It has been too many years since I have gone perch fishing on Lake Michigan.My cousin has a boat and perch fishes often, so this year I am going to make a point of joining them. When I was a kid, my grandpa perch-fished out of Burns Ditch all summer long. I joined him as often as I could. Sweet, succulent yellow perch are my favorite fish to eat. So this summer I’m going to catch a mess of them and have a fish fry to remember.
Fly fish for muskie
Muskie fishing is a lot like hunting. In fact muskie has been called the fish of 10,000 casts.You can’t expect to catch one on every trip, but with a little exploration and some patience, muskie can be caught in the Greene-Sullivan strip pits. Bass Lake, Duck Lake and Black Cat Lake all have them.Indiana’s muskie program is thriving. Northern lakes like Webster, Tippecanoe and the Barbee chain have been gaining national recognition for the past decade or so, but the small, secluded lakes of the Greene-Sullivan offer a wilderness ambiance that appeals to me.
Muskie are not easy to catch, especially on a fly rod, but I’ll spend a weekend giving it my best shot.
Float the Blue River
The Blue River is one of the most scenic waters in the state.Originating in Washington County, the Blue rolls through Harrison and Crawford counties before arriving at its confluence with the mighty Ohio River. The water of the Blue is exceptionally clear, and the leaves in the fall are some of the most gorgeous in the Midwest.I’ve canoed the Blue a number of times, but I have never floated it on my fishing raft. I hope to load the front and rear seats with two of my favorite Hoosier conservationists, DNR photographer John Maxwell and O’Bannon Woods State Park property manager “Ranger Bob” Sawtelle and spend a lazy fall day floating and fishing for smallmouth.
Ride state park toboggan with kids
Pokagon State Park, located in the northeast corner of the state near Angola, features an incredible toboggan run.Visiting Pokagon during the winter has become a tradition for many Hoosier families. It’s time I take my girls there. With the beautiful Potawatomi Inn on site, Pokagon is the perfect place to spend a weekend relaxing and reconnecting with nature during a time of year when most are just dreaming of spring.The park’s refrigerated toboggan run has become somewhat of a legend among Indiana outdoor enthusiasts. It’s the sort of iconic location that transcends generations.
These are my Indiana outdoor adventure resolutions for 2016. I also hope to fish in Cuba and hunt in multiple New England states. Whatever your outdoor resolutions are for the new year, be sure to write them down. Doing should mean you’ll spend more time outdoors this year.
See you down the trail.
Brandon Butler’s outdoors column appears occasionally in The Tribune. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.