story by GLENDA WINDERS
Everybody knows how much fun it is to go to a state park in the summertime. The happy surprise is that it can be just as enjoyable in the winter. Hiking and adventure are still on offer, and for being warm and cozy, state park inns have a room or cabin ready just for you.
The rustic Abe Martin Lodge at Brown County State Park will put you up in one of 84 rooms (six patio rooms included) or in one of their Cabin Suites, Family or Rustic cabins. Even if you opt for a family cabin with a wood-burning stove, you’ll still have access to the inn’s amenities.
Your accommodations will come with wristbands that admit you to the lodge’s indoor aquatic center, where you’ll have access to a water slide, zero-entrance swimming pool, lazy-river water channel, water volleyball and basketball, hot tub with a waterfall.
A game of Ping-Pong in the game room might be your next stop, or maybe you’ll choose to read a good book, play a game, or work a puzzle in the comfy fireplace lobby. You’ll want to have a peek into the gift shop, too.
The dining room in the lodge is called the Little Gem with good reason. You’ll feast on such comfort food as chicken and noodles, meatloaf and pot pies as well as Friday fish fry.
Best of all, a winter getaway at a state park lodge doesn’t need to break the budget. If you come Sundays through Thursdays between Nov. 26, 2023, and Feb. 29, 2024, you’ll get two nights for the price of one. (Dec. 24 through Jan. 4 are not included.)
The same offer applies at all the State Park Inn locations, so maybe you’ll choose to explore Potawatomi Inn at Pokagon State Park. Outdoor winter sports are the order of the day here, and with Lake James right outside your door, all you have to do is lace up your skates and get going. Bring your own gear for cross-country skiing or rent snowshoes once you arrive.
The twin-track refrigerated toboggan run here is one of the longest and tallest in the United States at 1,780 long and 90 feet tall. Sledders have been known to reach 42 miles per hour.
Potawatomi Inn offers both rooms and cabins, with popular patio rooms on the first floor just steps from the lake and beach. When you’ve just come in from the cold you’ll appreciate the indoor pool, hot tub and sauna. Also offered for your enjoyment are a fitness center, game room, craft room and library. Read the book you select here, on the enclosed sun porch or in one of the lounges, some with fireplaces.
The menu at the Lakeview Restaurant offers the same homey dishes as those in Brown County. For more casual snacking, pick up a sandwich and some ice cream in the Courtyard Café.
Whichever you decide, getting away to a state park in the winter will delight you. It could turn out to be the best vacation ever.
Book rooms at indianainns.com or call 1.877.LODGES 1