Part 1: Trails and Parks, Brown County IN

brown county scenic overlook

Updated Oct 27, 2022

Over 50% of our land mass is state and federal-owned. This includes Brown County State Park which attracts over a million visitors a year. It also attracts and retains residents that value “country.”  The “One Thing?:  Part 2:   Trails, Parks, Culture, Brown County, IN

    • State land includes Brown County State Park, and Yellowood State Forest.
      • And, residents can also opt to put forested land into a Classified Forest category that restricts development and reduces their property taxes.
    • Federal Land includes Hoosier National Forest.
      • The USDA also offers cash incentives for land use and conversation.
    • Brown County also owns land.
    • Private/ Non-Profits:
      • Non-Profits include:  Nature Conservancy, Sycamore Land Trust, and other non-profits that manage private land via a public organization (501c3) that allows access by the public such as Stone Head.

I am not aware of a “master map,”  website, or Facebook page (?)  that provides a one-stop-shop for information on all our trails and parks (government, private/non-profits) that the public can access.

In promoting hiking opportunities,  it also may be good that in addition to residents, identify other stakeholder groups – Hiking and Biking groups for example.  The Knobstone/Tecumseh Trail has been recognized nationally.

More visibility about our Trails and Parks could help expand the narrative in the county that reinforces a focus on the Quality of Life in the county. Very few residents want to see Nashville/Brown County turn into a Gatlinburg-Light.

Inventory?  A start Master List of Public Trails. To do –  develop an  “inventory” of existing trails and hiking associations.  Would also be good to develop a “digital (GIS) map.”  For example – mountain bikers have trails that can be downloaded to a phone or another device.  

 Master List of Trails, Parks, and Preserves Open to the Public 

Regional Visibility – Indiana Uplands – Brown County. Known as the “Art Colony of the Midwest,” Brown County and the town of Nashville have attracted visitors for generations with spectacular views of rolling hills and forested land. Today, this popular destination is known for award-winning schools, eclectic art studios, distinctive restaurants and shops, and endless outdoor activities. Experience natural beauty, warm hospitality, and adventure in Brown County.

Stakeholder Groups:

Private – Non-Profits

  • Federal
    • Hoosier National Forest – Charles C. Deem Wilderness. As Indiana’s only officially designated Wilderness Area, the Charles C Deam Wilderness is special by definition. Discover what Wilderness means and how you can do your part to keep up the area’s untrammeled spirits.

State

Indiana University

    • Explore the Lilly-Dickey Woods

      • “That is not where our story starts, however. The Lilly-Dickey woods have been important to many people and its history is an integral part of Brown County lore. Lilly’s land was called “Hamblen Forest” after Jesse Hamblen, who settled in Brown County in 1825 and lent his name to nearby Hamblen Township.”
      • “With Tuxhorn’s passing there was increased interest in the future of the Lilly-Dickey woods. In 2001 Indiana University established the Research and Teaching Preserve with the purpose of providing field-based formats for environmental research and experiential education.”

      • “In 2003 the Lilly-Dickey woods were incorporated into the preserve. The pristine land provided a unique opportunity for research, and in 2009 it became a part of the Smithsonian Institute’s Center for Tropical Forest Science database that provides models for understanding carbon storage and regeneration dynamics. Such research is made possible by one factor—the advanced age of the forest.” 

Other DNR – Division of Forestry  High Conservation Value Forests (HCVF)

County

Other: Tourism

Other – History.

Kenneth E. Tuxhorn  passed away peacefully with his family members at his side on September 17, 2013. He was 84 years old. Ken was born on February 2, 1929 to Alma and Oscar Tuxhorn in Indianapolis.

Ken was founder and director of Outdoor Educational Activities Incorporated, a non-profit organization at Bear Wallow in Brown County for 64 years. He had a passion for nature and the outdoors, but he will be remembered mostly for helping young people become better citizens of this world.

In 1949, he created the Yellowwood Trail. It was a 20.1 mile trail that started in Morgan/Monroe State Forest and finished at Trail Headquarters at his home on Bear Wallow Hill. Soon after, Ken started constructing hiking and biking trails throughout Brown County. His other trails were the American Heritage, 10 O’Clock Line, Tulip Tree Trace, White Water Canal, the Brown County Bike Trail, and the Flags of the Nations. The Flags of the Nations was a memorable trail not only to the hikers, but to a passerby as well, because 112 flags from around the world hung on flagpoles at the beginning of the trail. The program also offered outdoor primitive camping, an indoor sleeping facility , and meals for the guests.. At the conclusion of each trail, hikers could purchase awards at a more than reasonable price for their hard work. Awards were beautifully crafted patches and medals that Ken designed.

Ken was married to Barbara Ramsey on November 24, 1956 at Beck Chapel by Dr. Beck on the campus of Indiana University. They were the third couple married at the chapel. She survives in Brown County.

Ken graduated from Warren Central High School in 1947. He went on to earn his Bachelor of Arts degree In Philosophy and Social Sciences from Indiana University in 1952. After World War II and during his sophomore year at I.U., Ken took a one year trip to Europe and bicycled throughout the continent. He biked through England, France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Austria, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, North Africa, and Tunisia. It was because of this experience that Ken came back to Indiana to start Bear Wallow.
In his early years, Ken worked as a school teacher for the Kniman school system. He then moved to Brown County and worked as a school teacher and principal at Sprunica in Brown County.

One of his greater achievements and honors happened on October 29, 2006 when he received the Distinguished Hoosier Award from Governor Mitch Daniels. 

Ken and Barbara had two children, Bruce Tuxhorn and Jenny Tuxhorn Thomas. Jenny preceded him in death in 1979. Bruce (Mary) Tuxhorn survive in Brown County. Other survivors include 3 grandchildren Matthew Tuxhorn, Jennifer Hiday, and Garrett Tuxhorn, 2 great grandchildren Andrew and Gavin, a sister, Laverna Hawkins, and a nephew, Brad Hawkins.

Visitation will be Friday, September 20, 2013 from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm at the Bond Mitchell Funeral Home in Nashville, Indiana. Pastor Darrell Miller will officiate the funeral service at 2:00 pm on Saturday, September 21, 2013 at the funeral home. Burial will be immediately following the service at Brown County Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Brown County Humane Society or American Cancer Society . Ken was a kind-hearted, loving man who cared about the well being of his fellow man. He was a teacher, mentor, and friend. He had a zest for life like no other and believed that hard work would take a person far. He will be sadly missed by all who knew and loved him.
Nashville, Bear Wallow Hill Road, ca. 1917 – John Marcus Dickey, secretary and biographer to poet James Whitcomb Riley, bought this land in 1905 and built his house, known as the house of thirty windows, the following year. Despite the caption, locals say that Riley never visited the home. In 1942 Dickey donated the 550-acre Lilly-Dickey Woods to Indiana University. Many today remember the home as the residence of Ken and Barbara Tuxhorn. Their nonprofit organization, Outdoor Educational Activies, Inc., built trails and their home served as trail headquarters, hosting many hikers and Boy Scout troups.

In 2016, IU declared the house and five surrounding acres surplus property and the Peaceful Valley Heritage and Preservation organization is working to find a new purpose that honors the home’s history. (Source: The House of the Singing Winds: The Life and Work of T. C. Steele, by Perry, Steele, Steele, and Peat, 2016 and Brown County Democrat, 22 Feb. 2016, “Can you picture the future?” by Ben Kibbey http://www.bcdemocrat.com/2016/01/26/can-picture-future-2/)

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