Winter Hikes in Fishers, Indiana

Just because it is winter doesn’t mean you can’t spend time outside hiking! In fact, one of the local areas that expects people to come hike is Ritchey Woods on the west side of Fishers. In addition to simply going to the nature preserve for a basic hike, you can also consider a couple of special hiking events happening.

Heart Hike

While you can hike on any day that Ritchey Woods Nature Preserve is open, on February 10th from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. there is a special hike. This is the Heart Hike. As a part of American Heart month, the annual Heart Hike is a time for people to get out and hike with their neighbors. During this free event, people can trek through the preserve on the trails to look for heart shapes in nature.

The expectation is for people to take a self-led hike on one (or more) of the trails. You can look for heart shapes that are naturally occurring, plus the parks department is also likely to have placed a few hearts for people to find as well! After (or even before) your hike you can warm up by the campfire that the parks department will have by the Ritchey Woods shelter. This is sure to be a fun event for individuals as well as for families with kids!

No registration is required. You can simply show up!

StoryWalk

StoryWalk is not new to Ritchey Woods, but rather a new StoryWalk is arriving February 1st at the preserve. If you’ve never seen a Story Walk, it is a simple concept. You get to hike down a trail within Ritchey Woods, and as you are enjoying nature, you can also read small signs along the trail that tell a story.

In the case of Ritchey Woods, the February story, will be “Patterns Everywhere” by Lisa Varchol Perron. This is a short storybook aimed at 5- to 9-year-olds, but that can be enjoyed by all ages.

The Patterns Everywhere StoryWalks are self-guided and can be done anytime the preserve is open during February. StoryWalks are a collaborative effort between the Fishers City Parks Department and the Hamilton East Public Library (HEPL). They ask that if you do a StoryWalk, you consider posting images on their social media pages to share with others!

StoryWalks are actually a monthly occurrence with different parks and different books being used each month. The books are often selected with the current month in mind. For example, January’s StoryWalk was at Heritage Park and featured the book “Just One Flake” by Travis Jonker. Upcoming StoryWalks include:

  • March: Just Ask by Justice Sonia Sotomayor at Brooks School Park
  • April: Flowers are Calling by Rita Gray at Cheeney Creek Nature Area
  • May: Ruby Finds a Worry by Tom Percival at Billericay Park
  • June: A Seed Grows by Antoinette Portis at Fishers AgriPark

Other Parks

Of course, most of the parks in Fishers are open year-round, so you can visit any of them. With the Heart Hike and StoryWalk happening at Ritchey Woods, it seems like February will be a good time to visit Ritchey Woods!

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