Back down on the Hoosier National's Beaver Creek, grandson photo hike

I was planning an afternoon jaunt to the Beaver Creek’s South Fork when Crystal asked last Saturday if I’d hang with my grandson Vale that night. The afternoon transformed into our first grandpa-grandson photo hike, with some fun photos to commemorate the occasion.

Beaver Creek is a White River East Fork tributary at the tri-county junction of Lawrence, Orange, and Martin Counties. The stretch we explored lies at the dead end of a backcountry road, in far northwest Orange County, in an isolated part of the Hoosier National Forest.

Vale is 5 and has enjoyed taking pictures around the house with a largely unused Lumix point-and-shoot and then seeing them on the computer. His questions about the tripod on the hourlong drive to Beaver Creek presaged a memorable bonding experience, not to mention which camera would sit atop the three-legged support the rest of the day – the Lumix.

This late-afternoon trip was the latest in a series to previously unexplored, remote areas of the Hoosier, the third to this particular swath of the national forest’s White River Valley sections. Others, to the east-northeast of the South Fork, include  Kings Ridge and Tincher Hollow/Beaver Creek.

Beaver Creek South Fork joins Beaver Creek a few miles to the west and drains into the White at the Bluffs of Beaver Bend Nature Preserve a mile down the road from Shoals.

The unofficial South Fork trail begins at the dead end of a well-maintained, populated county road and follows the gated roadbed a half-mile to the valley and creek, which produced the year’s first wildflower photos. The trail and valley floor were lined with bloodroot, rue anemone, and other fragile, early-spring bloomers.

The creek, of course, was full—but surprisingly not overly so. The valley wasn’t soggy at all.

And while there was one complaint of cold hands on the hike back, water conditions were ideal for wading and rock throwing.

The images include photos of Vale and I taking pictures of each other taking pictures of each other.


Hoosier National Forest Photos: Beaver Creek South Fork


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