Spring Mill park is of the most unique parks I have visited in Indiana. As with many parks in the state, it has a history as a town, village and trade spot that was built one year after Indiana became a state. However, this park has kept and maintained the pioneer village that once sat on the grounds. Some pieces have been added, of course, but many are the original structures, sitting in their original places. No other state park can offer you this sort of experence. The park has hired persons wearing period clothes and re-enacting life in this pioneer village. Special events are held during the Christmas season, as well as for Civil War remembrances. Many visitors come for the trails and nature, but are just as intrigued by the village. I know I was!
Creating images at Spring Mill is a lot of fun! Of course, the trees themselves are amazing. However, the wildflowers in spring are ideal subjects for up-close, macro shots. There are also several flowing creeks that provide great composition for movement; both in and out of the water. But be careful, Springhouse Creek is cold no matter what time of the year you go! If texture and contrast appeal to you as a photographer, the pioneer village is highly recommended. Whether it is the weathered wood of the mill or the hand-crafted chimneys from 200 years ago, you will find something to capture.
If you are wanting to mix photography with some fun, there are plenty of options. There are plenty of trails for hiking; which you may want to partake in first so you get an idea of potential spots for photos. There is also a boat tour of one Twin Caves; but sign up early as this is very popular. Pioneer village is a great way to spend some time; all of the guides & actors are very knowledgeable. The food at Spring Mill Inn stands out a little more than other parks…probably because they cook with the cornmeal ground by their own mill. Something I didn't know before my first visit, was there's a mini-museum inside the park. The museum honors Mitchell, Indiana native Gus Grissom, the second man in space, who spent much of his childhood in the park.
Spring Mill offers plenty of nature to enjoy, whether for photography or personal sake, but it is definitely the pioneer village that makes this park memorable.