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A stroll through Whitewater Memorial State Park

by Lance Gideon

Whitewater Memorial State Park in Liberty, Indiana has a lot of great opportunities for outdoor fun. From access to two lakes; Whitewater Lake and Brookville Lake, to camping, hiking, and ample opportunities for bird watching. Whitewater Memorial State Park was established in 1949 as a memorial to the men and women who served in World War II from Fayette, Franklin, Union, and Wayne Counties in Indiana. Recently, I decided to head on down to Whitewater Memorial State Park to see this beautiful park first hand.

When I first got to the park, I parked my car and decided to walk toward the dam of Whitewater Lake. There was a set of stairs near the dam, and I decided to walk down them to see what was below me. Once I got there, I noticed a small stream; which a spillway from the lake, many trees, and plenty of wildlife.

I decided to take a walk down a portion of the park’s Red Spring Loop, which has to portions divided by a road that goes through the park. One portion, the portion I took is a more easy terrain, the other, which I decided to skip this time is more rugged. Not far from the parking lot, I was able to see some plant life; including flowering dogwood as well as cedar trees.

Also, not long after I started my walk, I was able to hear the sounds of a Red Headed Woodpecker in the distance. After a short look around, I was able to capture a few pictures of the bird.

The part of the trail that I walked on goes through the Hornbeam Nature Preserve, which includes a high number of hornbeam and hop hornbeam trees.

As I walked down the trail, I spotted fenced in deer enclosure. The enclosure is meant to keep deer and other wildlife out so that the park can compare the difference in plant life between an area of the park with high deer traffic and an area of the park with no deer traffic.

Shortly after the deer fence, I came up to the intersection of the trail I was on and the road. At that intersection, I saw the trail head for the Lake Shore Trail. This trail is a 2.7 mile trail and leads to an observation deck.

I decided against taking the entire 2.7 mile stretch and walked the short loop back to the trail head. At the end of this walk I took the road back to my car and headed to Brookville Lake. Brookville Lake was established in 1975 by the United States Army Corp of Engineers as a way to control flooding from the Whitewater River. The property encompasses over 11,000 acres of land, which includes two State Recreation Areas and a 5,200 acre lake.

The area of Brookville Lake that people can access from Whitewater Memorial State Park is known as the Waterfowl Resting Area and is drained beginning in early October to allow migrating birds to rest at the park. The lake is brought back to full capacity in early March. One awesome thing I was able to experience is the Sandhill Crane Migration that takes place at the park and throughout the area. Please see the video below to see the Sandhills in action.

After I was done at Whitewater Memorial, I took a drive to Brookville, Indiana to get a few pictures of the lake as well as the surrounding area. Once I was finished in Brookville, I drove home with two tired feet, and well over 100 new pictures.


Published: 12/10/2012


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