A Walk in the Woods: Bendix Woods

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By: John Griffee

Staff Columnist 

South of U.S. 20 resides Bendix Woods County Park, a 195-acre preserve with a wide variety of activities and resources for visitors. The entrance to the park gives an example of what parkgoers will find during their trips, with large looming trees flanking the winding road. Past the entrance, the forest begins to swallow the area and the air comes alive. 

For the average hiker, Bendix Woods is a wonderful area to visit. Even with the blistering temperatures of summer, the trails offered at Bendix Woods are dominated by the canopy line of the trees, offering plenty of shade even on the hottest days. Trails weave throughout the park, taking hikers towards different picnic areas and through the 27-acre nature preserve. There is hardly a quiet moment at the height of the day in the park, with birds filling the woods with their songs, undertoned by the rustle of other animal residents of the park.

Bendix Woods is well known for their collaboration with Studebaker, and houses a line of trees planted to spell out Studebaker from an aerial view. While the park is directly nearby proving grounds and directly off a busy highway, there is never a sense of invasion in the forests. Hills offer scenic overlooks of the terrain and quiet streams, undisturbed by their surroundings. 

Much at Bendix is unchanged due to the current pandemic. At the heads of trails, signs tell visitors to practice social distancing while enjoying the park. Truthfully, Bendix Woods and hiking in general, are perfect for practicing social distancing during this strange period of life. Bendix offers natural beauty found in many other parks in the area, with plenty to keep visitors busy for the day. 

Bendix Woods is a county park with a relatively cheap entry fee of four dollars for those in the country and five dollars for those from out of county. The park offers all of the amenities of traditional parks, with preserves, trails and a nature center. There are activities for all periods of the year, with fall hayrides coming up and tree tapping for syrup to follow in the winter. 

Is there a park that you want to see covered? Email me at jgriffee@iu.edu with suggestions.

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