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Location: Mitchell

Size: 1,358 hectares

Opened: 1927

Activity: Historic sites; cave tourism; hiking; cycling; picnic; swimming; hayrides

Amenities: Spring Mill Inn; vanguard village; Gus Grissom’s warning; ship tour; Bicycle Rental; 221 modern and primitive campsites; youth camping tents; camp shop

DNR Description: Spring Mill State Park offers a strong illustration of the relationship between the natural world and culture. Water flowing from several cave springs led to the establishment of an industrial village in the early 1800s. Pioneers use constant water sources that never freeze, using them to power mills, wool mills, sawmills and refineries. In turn, pioneering settlers formed a landscape around the village, clearing land for agriculture and timber.

Today’s park continues to describe how nature shapes us and how we shape our environment. A piece of virgin wood contrasts with regenerated forests, a man-made lake struggling to survive against the mudflow from cave feeding systems and native flora and fauna face challenges from the introduction of new species by humans.

Visitors can explore this story in four park interpretation facilities – Pelopor Village, Nature Center, Grissom Memorial, and Twin Cave Boat Tours – and see it reflected in the landscape as they climb the trail.

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