One of the premier spots to enjoy brilliant Indiana fall foliage is at McCloud Nature Park, just outside of North Salem, and Hendricks County Parks & Recreation is hosting a celebration of those autumn colors at the Fall Colors Festival on Oct. 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Fall Colors Festival is free to attend, and families will find a wide variety of activities to enjoy while surrounded by the reds, oranges and yellows of the McCloud trees. The vast majority of activities at the festival are free of charge.
Returning to the festival this year are two very popular activities that made their debut last year – archery and tree-climbing.
Instructors from Hendricks County 4-H Shooting Sports will provide instruction and guidance in archery target-shooting throughout the day, and Hendricks County Parks & Recreation superintendent Jeremy Weber will provide the ropes, harnesses, instruction and supervision necessary for festival-goers to safely climb a tree.
“Tree-climbing was so popular last year that Jeremy stayed an hour after the festival ended so that everyone had an opportunity to climb,” said Eric Ivie, who handles communications and marketing for the department. “He can’t say ‘no’ to kids who want to climb trees.”
The Fall Colors Festival also introduces a new activity this year that will likely be as popular as tree-climbing and archery: throwing an atlatl. An atlatl is an ancient hunting weapon used by Native Americans. Park Naturalists will teach visitors how it was used and give them an opportunity to throw it at a target.
Hayrides will be offered for $5 per person or $10 for the entire family, and festival-goers can decorate pumpkins, make candles, get their faces painted, operate an apple cider press, and enjoy yard games hosted by Brownsburg Parks & Recreation. A food truck will also be on-site.
Just prior to the Fall Colors Festival, the Parks Foundation of Hendricks County is hosting its annual Fall Colors Run at McCloud Nature Park with a start time of 9 a.m. Runners and walkers can enjoy a one-mile, 5K, or 10K course along McCloud’s trails while surrounded by the beautiful fall foliage.
Registration for the Fall Colors Run can be found at www.PFOHC.org. All proceeds from the event benefit Hendricks County parks. Families are not required to attend the Fall Colors Run to enjoy the Fall Colors Festival.
Information about the Fall Colors Festival can be found at www.HendricksCountyParks.org.