Local kids are back in class and Labor Day is becoming a distant memory, which means summer is gone, folks.
Now, we still might have some days here and there that feel very summer-esque, but it’s time to start focusing on the fall season. Whereas this can entail things like making sure your children are actually doing their homework and starting to make plans for Halloween, something you definitely should make plans for is to swing by Ft. Ben at some point.
In the past, we’ve discussed how lucky we are to be located next to this local treasure. We touched on a variety of different activities that are appropriate for both the summer and winter seasons.
Well, one of the great things about fall is that you can still do many of those summer activities—they can just be a bit more comfortable (without summer heat being a factor).
That said, it’s pretty tricky to go downhill sledding on one of the biggest hills in our region without snow. (And even trickier yet to stay dry while ice fishing in September…)
Before you can reasonably go sledding, ice fishing, cross-country skiing, or any of the other wintertime offerings at Fort Harrison State Park, make sure you spend some time enjoying fall activities in this incredible park!
As a starting point, you may want to take advantage of the multi-use trails for mountain biking, hiking or running. Activities like those are great all year long, but it’s hard to beat the gorgeous scenery the park offers when the leaves start to turn.
Hopefully, you will avoid injuries when running or walking—and, be able to appreciate the natural beauty—but keep in mind that we are here to help if you have foot or ankle pain. The answer to this problem will vary, depending on your specific case, but we may be able to provide the help you need in the form of custom orthotics. And remember to wear the appropriate shoes/boots.
For our local runners, one particular fall activity you might not want to miss out on (depending on your level of training and fitness) is the Indy Half-Marathon on October 6. Wave as you go by my office!
If you haven’t already started training for the 13.1-mile course through our favorite state park, you might look into participating in the 5th Annual BACA “Bolt for Autism” Run & Walk on September 16. (And if you haven’t been running on a regular basis, you should give some thought to sticking to the “walk” part.)
Beyond walking and running, another form of exercise—one that happens to be a personal favorite—is mountain biking. To that end, you will be hard pressed to find better trails than the ones you’ll find in our Fort Ben!
Those of us who bike know that we’re extremely fortunate to have trails designed by the guy who is responsible for several of the best mountain bike trails in the entire country.
On top of that, the trails were hand-build by volunteers from the Hoosier Mountain Bike Association—which means you know the work was carefully done by those who are experienced and know what makes for a great ride.
If building the trails wasn't enough, the HMBA also maintains the trails and lets you know about their current conditions through their website. Plus, you can find extensive descriptions so you will know what to expect before heading out.
From an educational perspective, the park has a range of offerings in the fall season. One that you may want to take advantage of is the weekly, guided bird-watching hikes. Every Sunday from 8-10 AM, you can meet up with fellow bird enthusiasts and head out for a free hike in the park.
Of course, fall is a great time to take your children to the onsite museum. Sure, they are receiving plenty of education in their classes, but it never hurts to learn a little more, right? And your children can get some great history lessons by visiting the Museum of 20th Century Warfare. After all, Fort Harrison was an actual military facility and constitutes an environment where children can learn about our history and honor the men and women who’ve served our nation. You can also find out more about the battle reenactments that go on during the year.
Before the base was decommissioned in 1991, officers had the privilege of several amenities. Included in these was an 18-hole, Scottish-style golf course. Well, the golf course still remains but is a little less Scottish. You duffers out there can probably still get a couple of rounds in before the course is buried in snow this winter.
Golf isn't for everyone—just ask Mark Twain (who said “golf is a good walk wasted”)—so you and your family might have greater interest in horseback riding or fishing. For the equestrian lovers, the park’s Saddle Barn offers lessons, rentals, and guided trail rides. You may want to hurry on this activity before the horses put on their winter coats and move to their winter home. On the fishing side of things, Ft. Ben’s ponds are stocked with fish. Since “the worst day of fishing is better than the best day at work” for a true fishing enthusiast, that’s something you may want to keep in mind.
We mentioned the leaves changing colors and need to expand on that to say the view from our office here in the autumn months is simply spectacular. Looking out the window is like looking at a large blaze due to the vast number of trees within the park. It’s yet another reason we’re happy to be located here.
(Yes, come see us for the individualized attention and expert foot care, but stay for the view!)
There is certainly more that can be said about our favorite neighbor—we didn't even touch on the abundance of natural beauty—but hopefully this helps give you a little insight into Indy’s best kept secret. You don’t have to take our word for it, though, plan your own visit to Fort Ben and see for yourself exactly what the park has to offer!
Naturally, we hope you are able to enjoy Fort Harrison Park without sustaining an injury. In the event you do hurt an ankle or foot while running, hiking, cycling, or doing any of the other many activities you can do in the park, come see us and we’ll provide the treatment you need.
Our Indianapolis office provides comprehensive foot care services for patients from across the greater Indianapolis community. If you need to request an appointment, simply give us a call at (317) 545-0505 and one of our team members will be happy to help!