If you have an interest in digging deeper into learning about the environment, then our new Ecohike Series is for you!

Strap on those hiking boots and come to McCloud Nature Park and Sodalis Nature Park this summer for four Ecohikes. At each Ecohike program, we’ll explore a different aspect of the ecology at a level of detail that goes beyond our normal family programs.

Ecohikes begin promptly at 1 p.m. and last approximately two hours.

Recommended for ages 16+. These programs are FREE to attend, and no advance registration is required.

Spring Wildflowers

Saturday, May 6 at McCloud Nature Park

Join local wildflower expert Norma Bangel Wallman and a Park Naturalist for the first Ecohike of the year! Hike with us to find and learn about the variety of spring ephemerals that are present at McCloud Nature Park during this season. Field guides will be provided, but participants are encouraged to bring their own cameras and nature journals. 

Hiking terrain difficulty: easy to moderate.


Forest Ecology

Saturday, June 17 at Sodalis Nature Park

If you’re interested in learning more about the intricacies of the woods around you, this second installment of our Ecohike series is for you! Forest Ecology will include an in-depth discussion of how plants, animals, and insects interact in a forest ecosystem. Participants will hike with a Park Naturalist through the more heavily wooded trails of Sodalis Nature Park to enjoy a hands-on learning experience! Be sure to bring water, and wear comfortable hiking shoes.

Hiking terrain difficulty: easy to moderate.


Photo credit: H. Krisp

Saturday, July 1 at Sodalis Nature Park

Though they aren’t often given much thought, the world around us would look much different without decomposers. Join us for our third installment of the Ecohike series to learn more about the scavengers and fungi that work to keep our forest floors thriving, including toxic and nontoxic mushroom
identification. Participants will be hiking along wooded trails at Sodalis Nature Park, so come dressed for the weather, and don’t forget extra water!

Hiking terrain difficulty: easy to moderate.

Erosion in Action

Saturday, July 22 at McCloud Nature Park

The fourth installment of our Ecohike series, Erosion in Action, is ideal for anyone interested in how central Indiana was shaped, and what forces of nature (beyond humans) are currently altering the landscape. Erosion can happen quickly or slowly; it can be a process as dramatic as a landslide or as
inconsequential as the smoothing of a river stone. Join a Naturalist at McCloud Nature Park to learn about how it will continue to affect both Indiana and you.

Hiking terrain difficulty: easy to moderate.