Options in town:
- Happy Hollow is a park with nice trails that is walkable from campus. But it is the park that you are most likely to already know about.
o Armstrong Park is small, but the pond and landscaping are quite nice.
o Munger Park is bigger and also has a pond and walking trail around it. The entrance is kind of hidden, so you have to watch carefully for the sign.
o McAllister Park is also off the beaten path. It used to have a golf club/course—that is now shut down. Some of the trails run by the Wabash River—and it also hosts the Lafayette Cloud Jockeys—a radio control model airplane club.
Options that are a short drive:
- The Tippecanoe County Amphitheater Park is worth checking out. The structure itself is cool to see and the trails are nice too. My favorite trail is not marked well though. If you are facing the amphitheater, it is pretty far left—past another building—the entrance is close to a port-o-potty, large gas tank, and trash dumpster. It doesn’t sound appealing!—but the trail is great.
- Tippecanoe Battleground Park is my favorite place to hike the Wabash Heritage Trail. The Battleground park and museum are interesting too. To find the trail head, you need to drive to the back of the parking lot and then walk behind the Nature Center building.
- Clegg Memorial Garden is part of the NICHES Land Trust. It has a lollipop shaped trail that is not too long and part of it runs by the river. The parking lot is across the street from the entrance.
Options that are a longer drive:
- Shades State Park (1 hour) is one of my favorite places to hike. It is hardly ever crowded and it has a variety of trails at different levels. The ones I like the best are Trails 2, 4, and 5 because they are the most rugged.
- The Hervey Preserve & Labyrinth (1 hour) is not well known. The trail is short, but the stone labyrinth is worth the drive. It offers an excellent place for quiet reflection.
Mounds State Park is quite a drive (1.5 hours) but if you are interested in history and have some time on a weekend, I highly recommend it. You will be able to see unique earthworks built by the Adena-Hopewell people in 160 BC. In addition, much of Trail 5 runs along the White River.