BROWN COUNTY, Indiana -- Cruisin Indiana is in the “Little Smoky Mountains.”
The beautiful hill country south of Indianapolis is the place for adventure, from horse-back riding to mountain-biking.
The rhythm of life moves at its own pace in Brown County.
You’ll see cascading waters, abundant forests, and where the tree line meets the sky, soaring vistas. For artists looking to connect with nature it’s total harmony.
“Looking out into the distance is just fabulous. You see colors that just are so exciting that you don’t see in flatter areas,” says artist Linda Parker Crank, who came all the way from Cincinnati yearning for inspiration and ever-changing landscapes.
“There are big fields of yellow flowers right now blooming. Acre after acre and against the dark green trees it’s spectacular.”
Like a Pied Piper the natural beauty draws artists and visitors.
The town of Nashville, Indiana is buzzing with shops, restaurants, and breweries.
The population is only a thousand strong.
But Nashville is said to have the highest per-capita concentration of artists in the Midwest. Galleries and art guilds are a major attraction.
Historic Brown County Art Gallery Foundation has world-class masterpieces and contemporary works.
At the House of the Singing Winds you can see the dwelling of Hoosier painter TC Steele. It is now a state historic site.
And you can tour the studio built after Steele’s return to his native Indiana in 1907. The master impressionist creates his sanctuary of the spirit on top of a grassy ridge.
A colony of artists to this day are sustaining a haven for art.
Mountain bikers love the rush at Brown County State Park. The forest provides a canopy over some of the best trails anywhere.
Rent you a bike starting at $40 a day. His “Hesitation Point” shop only minutes from the challenging Bobcat Bowl.
Or jump on other routes.
There are woodsy cabin rentals -- big fun for the family. And Abe Martin Lodge with its indoor pool with water slides.
And there is adventure outside. Like a breathless climb to the top of the fire tower with a panoramic view of the forest.
Naturalist Patrick Haulter says the soil is different here. The glaciers bypassing this part of Indiana eons ago. Which explains the elevation and unusual trees.
“We have quite a few Chesnutt Oaks," he says. "Yellowood trees exist here. They don’t exist anywhere else in the state except for right here in Brown County.”
With adjoining wilderness and the Hoosier National Forest it’s no wonder people return to what’s come to be known as the “Little Smokies.”
Plan your visit with these helpful links.
Brown County Convention & Visitors Bureau
TC Steele State Historic Site
4220 TC Steele Road
Brown County Art Colony
1 Artist Dr.
Historic Brown County Art Gallery
Corner of Artist Drive & Main Street
Brown County Art Guild
48 South Van Buren Street
Brown County State Park
1810 State Road 46 East
In.gov (search ‘Brown County State Park’)
Hesitation Point Bicycle Rental
51 Parkview Road