The Journal Gazette
Saturday, January 11, 2020 1:00 am

Get outdoors at state parks

For many people, modern life means spending more time indoors. In fact, Americans spend roughly 90% of their time indoors, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

This has had numerous direct and indirect health impacts, from respiratory issues due to poor indoor air quality to reduced physical activity due to an indoor sedentary lifestyle.

People of all ages are starting to make a change, embracing the outdoors for all the benefits it can provide to their mental and physical health. Since there are opportunities for getting outdoors nearby wherever you live or travel, there's no better time to commit to getting outside than in 2020.

A new year offers 365 days of opportunity, and what better way to start your outdoor goals than with a visit to a state park near you?

It's easy to take for granted what's in your own backyard, and state parks are a reminder of the beauty of the different seasons while offering ample amenities that make exploration easy any time of year. Once you visit, you'll want to return again and again to cherish the scenery and create many more memories with your family.

Whether it's a family picnic, a guided group hike, bird watching, rock climbing or simply a calm walk listening to the sounds of nature, there are many activities to explore at state parks. Check out the month's park programs run by knowledgeable state park staff and volunteers to see what may be of interest to you and your family.

In the United States there are 6,792 state park areas comprising 18,694,570 acres. These parks offer 14,672 trails over 52,603 miles total length – that's more than twice around the Earth at the equator. 

Every state park has different opportunities, from hiking, biking, and equestrian trails to swimming, marinas and ski slopes. The best way to get acquainted with a state park is to visit it and see for yourself. Wear comfortable shoes and consider packing a water bottle and protein bar for your hike and you'll be ready to enjoy nature to the fullest.

– Brandpoint

Area state parks

Here are some state parks that are within an hour driving distance of Fort Wayne:

Chain O'Lakes State Park, 2355 E 75 S, Albion

Ouabache State Park, 4930 E Indiana 201, Bluffton

Pokagon State Park, 450 Lane 100 Lake James, Angola

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