Although, I’m one to push Ohio’s state parks for their stellar leaf peeping and lodging combinations, Indiana has leaf peeping and a lodge to brag about. The Abe Martin Lodge in Indiana’s Brown County State Park is a find we discovered last year when we headed to Bloomington to go to the Ohio State University/Indiana University football game. Go Bucks.
Brown County State Park’s fall foliage was at its peak when we wound along the park’s road to Abe Martin Lodge on a quest for breakfast. The lodge, built in 1932, is a blend of rustic elegance and homey charm. Local sandstone and oak timbers are prominent building features, particularly in the restaurant where wide windows show off the scenery while you dine.
After we ate our country-style breakfast buffet that seemed fine enough, we wandered through the hotel enjoying the ambiance of its history. I was particularly intrigued by the display cases of Abe Martin Radio Show memorabilia. The Abe Martin Radio Show, broadcast in the 1920s, was based on a syndicated comic strip character created by cartoonist Kin Hubbard. Hubbard created Abe Martin in 1904 and the lodge was named after the character.
The hand-crafted pieces of furniture found in the common areas also caught my attention. The willow details, particularly the pattern on one of the armchairs, were fabulous.
This 84-room lodge has several other features to make for a fun stay. The most impressive, particularly for those traveling with children, is the lodge’s large indoor water park with its slide, water channel, waterfall, play areas and whirlpool. There’s also a game room with air hockey and a ping pong table.
Head outside for a large dose of beauty mixed with outdoor activities. Brown County State Park, Indiana’s largest state park, has a nature center, hiking, mountain bike, and horseback riding trails. There’s also fishing. In the fall, the scenery is magnificent no matter which way you see it.
If you go, take time to head to nearby historic Nashville, Indiana. There are more than 200 specialty shops, the Brown County Historical Society’s Pioneer Village, and trolley rides which take visitors around town.
Along with the queen and king size rooms, the park has rustic, single room to family size cabins. Because October is premier season, room rates are higher. Currently, a queen is $126.99 and it’s $86.99 for a rustic cabin.
Abe Martin Lodge
Nashville, IN 47448
Post and photos are courtesy of Jamie Rhein, member of Midwest Travel Writing Association.