As one of the nation’s fastest growing counties, you might not think of suburban Hendricks County (just west of Indianapolis) as a place to go for exploring nature. But with the addition of Sodalis Nature Park to the county’s park system, there’s plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors in this part of the state.
I spent a fun-filled hour there one evening last weekend. My family and my sister’s family met there to let our kids explore. And explore they did! At Sodalis, you won’t find the typical park offerings of playgrounds, swing sets and basketball courts. Instead, you’ll be greeted by a 5.5 acre pond perfect for fishing and 3.5 miles of nature trails. The picnic area and fishing pier are ADA accessible. It’s rather quiet and peaceful. (Unless my toddler is there. Apologies to everyone visiting last Saturday.) The picnic area and trails are very shady, which makes this park a perfect place to relax in the summer heat.
Sodalis is named for a particular species of bats that are endangered. There is a permanently protected conservation area for the bats at this park, another unique feature. While we didn’t spot any bats, our kids got to watch ducks splashing in a waterfall, share the nature trail with squirrels and birds, and marvel at fish being caught (and released, of course). We can’t wait to go back and let them splash in the creek and try their luck at fishing.
The park is located at 7700 S. County Road 975 E. in Plainfield and is open from dawn to dusk daily. There is plenty of parking at the entrance, where you’ll also find maps and information. It’s easily accessible from both I-70 and State Road 67. If you plan to hike, I recommend visiting after we’ve had some dry weather. We went right after several straight days of rain, and the trails were pretty muddy. Lots of fun for our kids, but not as much fun to clean up!
Next week, I’ll be writing about two fun events taking place in Hendricks County this summer. So that makes three great reasons to visit!