Adventure of the Week- Abe Martin Lodge in Brown County State Park



Sunrise with stars at Abe Matin Lodge

Adriana Hernandez-Santana, Editor-in-Chief

Alright, this one, I will be honest. I’ve had this trip planned out for a few months now and it is actually what inspired the concept of Adventure of the Week. 

Finally, it is time to let this star really shine. 

So this past weekend, I decided to cross state lines and go to some place so daring, so different, that only the bravest of reporters go. 

That’s right, I went to Indiana!

Now here’s the funny thing. As I previously mentioned in another article, nature does not like me. 

Apparently, attempting to drown myself in a pond was not enough to keep me away from mother nature, because I decided to venture out into the wilderness once again. 

I decided, let’s go hiking in nature. But let’s not do just one, nice, leisurely little stroll.

No no no. If you know me, you know that I like to go to the extreme right off the bat.

I only had two real thoughts while doing this.

One, let’s hope that I don’t pass out in the middle of the trail. And two, please do not let the June bugs don’t attack me.

I went to Abe Martin Lodge in Nashville, Indiana. It is located in Brown County State Park. 

That’s where this week’s adventure takes place. 

I do not know if anyone has been to a lodge before, but from my experience, allow me to tell you that it was super nice, and so different from the typical hotels I would stay at. 

Um, scary thing though, which was also one of my favorite things. Every room had a back door to the patio area so you could go outside. Cool, right? You can see the trails, sit at the bonfire, and just enjoy the nature vibes. 

The downside? 

Any little creature is able to break in and invade your territory. 

Allow me to share my trauma. I woke up bright and early, excited to start my day. I walked into the bathroom, prepared to do “my thing,” when I saw this little brown critter just staring at me from the corner of the floor. 

I blink because surely, I’m just dreaming. 

And then a brown spider charged towards me. 

Obviously, I did what any logical person would do…I screamed and ran away.

The spider held the bathroom hostage for about 45 minutes before he was “escorted out.”

After that mishap, it was time to start my Saturday, aka hiking day. 

The first trail to conquer was the Discovery Trail. Clocking in at a moderate half mile, I was feeling pretty confident going into the next trail. 

The next trail on the map was trail 6. It was supposed to be an easy/rugged 1.5 miles. 

Mind you, I’m a powerlifter. So exercise is no challenge to me.

Cardio on the other hand? Mehhhhh…

So needless to say, this was definitely a harder trail where I had to slow down or take water breaks here and there. 

Here’s where things get funny.

 For someone like me, I have always been interested in nature, but I have been scared to explore because of concerns like… you know.. Allergies. Death. Basic stuff like that.

So for me, experiencing this much nature to this degree, it really made me feel like I could take on the world. 

But maybe I should learn to be more aware of my surroundings first. 

On this trail, you approach this beautiful lake, with all sorts of creatures just frocking about, living their best lives. But there are also some animals that you have to be aware of. This is nature we’re talking about after all!

Now, I can not remember for the life of me where I heard this, but I distinctly remember someone telling me that if you are in the woods and you want to alert the animals that you are heading their way, you should stomp your feet really loud and make as much noise as possible. This is supposed to scare them off. 

Makes sense, right? So I did.

And maybe I should have looked where I was stomping because I heard people start screaming at me to move immediately. 

Confused, I looked down.

People walking on limestone rocks to change trails (Adriana Hernandez-Santana)

And much to my surprise, I was 6 inches away from stomping on a giant snake that was taking a nap.

Some colorful language was shared, and then I ran away. But after that, the rest of the day was smooth sailing.

For now.  

Here’s another thing about Indiana. Depending on what section you go to, there’s a time change. Well, in case you didn’t know, I also work the morning show for HitMix 88.9 on campus. So my body has learned to wake up at 4:30, or 5:00 a.m. naturally. 

With the time change, I woke up at 2:00 a.m. our time, 3:00 a.m. Indiana time. And I had nothing to do, since everyone is obviously sleeping. 

I decided, what better time to just take a moment to myself and enjoy nature on my own accord. 

Be a brave little explorer if you will.

Another fun fact about me, I am a HUGE astronomy nerd. I have always been fascinated by the stars and constellations, so I was super stoked to try and see them out in the wilderness. 

The sad news was that it was cloudy and foggy, so all I could make out was the stars desperately trying to gleam through the night sky.  

I was pretty sad that I could not see the stars, but I still wanted to enjoy my last night in my own special way. So I sat on a swinging bench, and let time roll on by. Just hear nothing but the sounds of crickets chirping, the wind blowing, and my TikTok For You page. 

Truly, a magical experience. 

But the magic does not stop there! 

After an hour of “experiencing the nightlife,” I looked back up to see that the clouds had been blown away, and the stars were clearer than ever!

I ran out into the open fields at 5:00 am and started taking photos of the night sky. 

And y’all, let me tell you…It was beautiful. 

What makes this experience even better was that I got to catch the sunrise battling against the stars, which actually ended up uniting the two entities, which made for an astonishing view.

Starry Sky at Abe Martin Lodge (Adriana Hernandez-Santana)

Once my night adventure was completed, I finally went back to bed for two hours before mentally preparing myself for the big boss trail, trail 10. 

While it was only 2.2 miles long, after the previous day of running around and getting barely any sleep, and having inclines that felt equivalent to 95 degree angles, this trail was no joke. 

Honestly, I quite literally wanted to crawl on the floor, but also there were spiders and other critters out there so I could not put myself at risk. 

So instead I swallowed my pride, let my legs nearly give out on multiple occasions, and struggled in silence. But the overlooks I saw were absolutely amazing. 

It was such a rewarding experience, much different than what I am normally used to. It’s like, all my hard work and pain was worth it to see these stunning views. 

On the way back, everyone in the area talked about this cute little shopping center that was 10 minutes away from the lodge. 

It was called the Possum Trot Square.

As a chronic shopper, I obviously had to go. And it was so cute!

There are so many different shops in the area, each one more unique than the last. 

Ice cream parlors, fudge shops, crystal stores, t-shirt shops, and even a designated toy store, there was so much to see and do!

Adriana Hernandez-Santana

Needless to say, this place was dangerous. And I think that’s what made it so fun. There was a leather and hat shop for crying out loud. I mean, be honest, where else can I find something like that?!

It was definitely a great way to end my adventure. 

So overall, I absolutely love the park. It was such an amazing experience that I am so grateful that I got to have it. I would definitely go again over the summer just to try all the other hiking trails and see all the other cute little shops at the square.

And who knows? Maybe next time I’ll challenge my body to do as many trails as it can before it collapses!

Thank you for reading this week’s edition of Adventure of the Week. Check in next week to see where I go next, and what new places I learn about! 

Adriana Hernandez-Santana can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]