Winter Weekend in Brown County

Posted by Spalding Hurst

February 5, 2024

This past weekend, I had the incredible opportunity to immerse myself in the natural beauty of Brown County State Park, Indiana’s largest state park, known for its stunning landscapes and vibrant wildlife. With winter’s grip firmly on the land, the park transformed into a picturesque scene, offering a unique experience distinct from the lush greenery of warmer months. My adventure included hiking, camping, and living out of my van for the wekeend, with the Grateful Dead’s tunes as the soundtrack.

Arrival and First Impressions

Arriving on a crisp Friday afternoon, we were immediately struck by the sheer beauty of the park in winter. The rolling hills and forests, now bare, revealed contours and views hidden in the summer months. The air was fresh, and a sense of calm pervaded the landscape, a perfect setting for a weekend getaway.

Hiking Adventures

My primary activity was exploring the trails. Brown County State Park boasts an extensive network of trails suitable for all levels, and winter hiking here is magical. The trails led me through frozen streams, snow-dusted valleys, and ridges that offered panoramic views of the park’s winter wonderland. The absence of foliage allowed for unobstructed views that stretched for miles, a rare treat that only winter hikers can truly appreciate.

Van Life

The highlight of camping was the night sky. Far from city lights, the stars in Brown County State Park shone with incredible brilliance. The Milky Way was clearly visible, a dazzling display of our galaxy’s splendor. I found myself by the fire, staring up in awe at the cosmos, feeling a profound connection to the universe out here.


This weekend was a reminder of the simple joys of connecting with nature. With its breathtaking winter scenery and serene atmosphere, Brown County State Park was the ideal setting for such an adventure. Living out of the van, hiking through the frosty landscape, and camping under the stars created a memorable experience.

As we packed up and headed home, we felt rejuvenated and grateful for the time spent in this beautiful park. The combination of natural beauty, physical activity, and great music made for an unforgettable outdoor adventure. Brown County State Park is truly a special place in winter, and I look forward to returning, perhaps to see it in a new season, with new trails to explore and more memories to make.


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