IN.gov - Skip Navigation

Note: This message is displayed if (1) your browser is not standards-compliant or (2) you have you disabled CSS. Read our Policies for more information.

Indiana Department of Natural Resources

DNR Home > Divisions > Communications > Outdoor Indiana Magazine - Archives > Outdoor Indiana - January/February 2014 > Outdoor Indiana - January/February 2014 - Featured Stories Outdoor Indiana - January/February 2014 - Featured Stories

From the Director
Time Warp
Brown county State Park
Skiing away stress at Indiana Dunes State Park

From the Director

Becoming an outdoors mentor
Director Cameron F. Clark

Director Cameron F. ClarkI was fortunate to have a father who taught me to fish at a young age.

I was equally fortunate that one of my father’s best friends taught me about pheasant hunting. It was magical watching the dogs work the brushy fields on a crisp autumn morning, trying to locate birds and provoke an explosive flush of wing and feather.

My deer and turkey hunting passions are derivatives of that early introduction and friendships made along the way.

The point here isn’t about personal hunting and fishing experiences but instead to underscore the importance of mentoring. Who knows if I’d be a hunter today if someone hadn’t taken an interest in sharing their outdoor experiences with me?

The DNR has a number of organized programs that fill this role, beginning with Hunter Education courses that teach not only safety but also conservation and hunter ethics. Our Division of Fish & Wildlife puts on “field to table” deer and waterfowl workshops for first-timers, and offers dozens of youth events at state fish & wildlife areas. Indiana Conservation Officers lead youth camps like the Karl Kelley Camp in West Lafayette. The annual Becoming an Outdoors-Woman weekend, held in the same area, continues to introduce the outdoors to more than 100 women each spring.

Recruitment programs like these have helped Indiana stem the decline of hunter numbers seen in some other Midwest states.
But is that enough?

Finding time in a young person’s busy school schedule can be challenging, but introducing them to a healthy outdoor lifestyle is a far better option than the sedentary choices of 400 TV channels or handheld video games.

So, I encourage you to take someone outdoors this year, be it your son or daughter, niece or nephew, a friend looking for a new hobby or someone in your neighborhood. Make it your New Year’s resolution. Show him or her how much fun it is to get outside and experience nature through whatever happens to be your passion—bird-watching, hiking, camping, fishing or hunting.

Trust me. They will cherish it for a lifetime.

Back to the top

Time Warp

Historic EateriesPlating past with present
By Nick Werner

Photography by Frank Oliver

In an ice cream parlor older than aviation, a military pilot and his family downed root beer floats.

Michael Hale lives in Colorado Springs, Colo. He flies Chinook helicopters for the Army. The technology that pays to feed his family was unimaginable when three brothers opened Zaharakos confectionery in 1900 in downtown Columbus.

Zaharakos predates fixed-wing flight by three years, rotary-wing flight for ‘copters by more than 30 years and manned spaceflight by more than 60.

Sandwiches and sundaes are on the menu.

But what Zaharakos really serves customers is history ….

Zaharakos may be one of a kind, but no matter where you are in Indiana there’s probably a restaurant nearby with authentic charm that only age can offer. The state boasts dozens of restaurants that are recognized by the National Register of Historic Places.

Cutline: Customers browse through Zaharakos and its soda fountain history collection in downtown Columbus. Zaharakos is one of dozens of Indiana eateries on the National Register of Historic Places.

To read the rest of this article subscribe to Outdoor Indiana or pick up a copy at most Barnes and Noble bookstores, and state park inns. To subscribe, click here or call (317) 233-3046.

Back to the top

Brown county State Park

Just plain more
By Marty Benson
Part of a series

Brown CountyAn old Hoosier comic strip character once said, “By cracky, it’s sum travelin’ ter git ter Brown County.”

That was before most cars could cruise at 70 mph, before there was a state park in these hills or anywhere else in Indiana.

Even with modern transportation, if the same fictitious gentleman visited the park named for the county today, he might offer a similar quip. Something like “it’s sum travelin’ ter git around this place.”

Brown County State Park spans nearly 16,000 acres, dwarfing Indiana’s next-largest by roughly 10 grand. Its roads are neither straight nor exempt from inclines for more than a blink. Some call the area the “Little Smokies” because of the likeness to the national park a few states southeast.

Upon entering one of the park’s three gates, the northernmost of which is prefaced by the oldest covered bridge in the state, getting around takes time.

Cutline: A family gathers to take in fall beauty. The park’s numerous vistas make it a destination for leaf peepers but in the early 1920s, the hills were nearly bare.

To read the rest of this article subscribe to Outdoor Indiana or pick up a copy at most Barnes and Noble bookstores, and state park inns. To subscribe, click here or call (317) 233-3046.

Back to the top

Skiing away stress at Indiana Dunes State Park

By Jessica Leigh Rosier, interpretive naturalist

Indiana Dunes State ParkWhen lake-effect white stuff falls on northwestern Indiana, a snow globe environment is born.

Better known for its warm sandy beaches, Indiana Dunes State Park shines during cold weather too, particularly when a natural white blanket covers the sand and sets the stage for cross-country skiing. For many, gliding through the marsh to the rhythmic swishing of ski pants is a peaceful break from whatever’s causing stress.

Cutline: Penny Starin of Chesterton skis through Indiana Dunes State Park. The lake-effect snows in northwestern Indiana make the park an ideal place for winter activities.

To read the rest of this article subscribe to Outdoor Indiana or pick up a copy at most Barnes and Noble bookstores, and state park inns. To subscribe, click here or call (317) 233-3046.

Back to the top