We have one developed park, Coopers Commons. In 2016, we are developing an additional park, Veterans Memorial Park, and a multi-use path and trail system, MyPath. Some of the amenities included in these parks are playgrounds and picnic shelters available for rent.
Coopers Commons (Town Park)
Coopers Commons is our town park located on the South side of Spencer near the White River. The park includes two playground areas, open fields, and shelter houses. Coopers Commons was the location of the first farmers’ market and site of the annual Riverfront Festival in August hosted by the Owen County Preservations. Coopers Commons has recently became the site of the start head for the MyPath trail, a multi-use path and trail system.
MyPath Trail System
The Owen County Community Foundation (OCCF), the Owen County Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) and the Owen County Family YMCA have joined to create a multi-use path and trail system to enhance recreational opportunities and improve safety on major walking routes for the residents of Spencer and Owen County. While the MyPath Trail System is a multi-phase construction process over several years, the first phase, Riverfront Trail, opened June 3, 2016. Later in 2016 the trailhead shelter house will be constructed in Cooper Commons Town Park.
Owen County Veteran’s Memorial Park
A once swampy marsh at the dead end of North Washington Street in Spencer is quickly transforming into a park dedicated to the community’s military veterans. Construction of the park begin in June 2016, and when finished the park will include a 40’ x 48’ shelter house, complete with frost barrier, handicap accessibility and restroom facilities.
Other Parks of Interest in Owen County
McCormick’s Creek State Park (Indiana’s oldest state park)
250 McCormick’s Creek Park Road, Spencer, IN 47460, Phone (812) 829-2235
Explore the spectacular limestone canyon, flowing creek, and scenic waterfalls that highlight Indiana’s first state park. Hike trails featuring diverse forest trees, spicebush, and native wildflowers, including a trail through Wolf Cave Nature Preserve and an accessible trail at the recently renovated nature center. Experience history as you climb the fire tower, use shelter houses or cross the stone arch bridge created by the Civilian Conservation Corps, or examine the historic Statehouse Quarry near White River, which furnished limestone used for the Indianapolis Statehouse. Relax in the lobby of Canyon Inn, open to all park visitors, or watch birds from the dining room porch. Catch cultural events such as concerts in the park amphitheater or attend the several special events hosted annually at the park. McCormick’s Creek State Park offers active enjoyment through all seasons of the year
Places of Interest at McCormick’s Creek State Park
…more information about McCormick’s Creek State Park
Cagles Mill Lake (Lieber SRA)
1317 W. Lieber Road, Suite 1, Cloverdale, IN 46120 Phone: (765) 795-4576
In 1952, Cagles Mill Lake was built as Indiana’s first flood control reservoir, protecting the Eel and White river watersheds. Mill Creek feeds the 1,400-acre lake and is home to beautiful Cataract Falls. These falls resulted from two pre-glacial bedrock ridges buried beneath ancient lake sediments of the Illinoisan glacial period.
Owen-Putnam State Forest
2153 Fishcreek Rd. Spencer, IN 47460, Phone (812) 829-2462
Hike through some of the best hardwood forests in the country. Enjoy deer, squirrel and turkey hunting. Fish in one of the ponds. Horseback ride through some of the beautiful hills of south central Indiana, including a view of a 50-foot sandstone bluff. This property consists of many scattered holdings in a north-south orientation and because of this scattered nature, care should be exercised to avoid trespassing on private land.
Developed areas include the Forest Office, Fish Creek Campground, Horse Campground and Rattlesnake Campground.
Points of Interest at Owen-Putnam State Forest
Canoe float from Spencer, through Freedom to Farmer’s Ferry
The twenty-mile float to the ferry crossing near Farmers, Indiana takes about seven hours. Near the start, railroad tracks parallel the river in several places but the banks are wooded for the most part. The closest public camping and general recreational facilities are in McCormick’s Creek State Park near Spencer.
The put-in site is a state-owned public fishing site south of Spencer. In Spencer, turn south on State Road 43/46 and proceed east through town and across the bridge over the West Fork of the White River. Beyond the bridge turn right and follow the signs to the Spencer Public Fishing Site. Plenty of parking is available and the launch ramp provides easy access. By canoe, stay to the left bank as you pass under the State Road 43/46 bridge and proceed about 1/2 mile to the launch ramp. The take-out is south of the small town of Farmers. Take State Road 67 south through Farmers and turn left (east) on County Road 990 N. Follow this road about 1.5 miles to the ferry crossing ramp which is still in operation. By canoe, the site is on the right about 2 1/2 hours downstream from Freedom, Indiana.
The car shuttle should take County Road 990 N back to State Road 67. Turn right (north) and proceed to Spencer then take State Road 46 east across the river turning right and following the signs to the Spencer Public Fishing Site.
…more information White River (West Fork)
Green’s Bluff Preserve (owned by The Nature Conservancy)
Green’s Bluff Nature Preserve is a site composed of several steep, rocky slopes and cliffs that border Raccoon Creek. These cliffs and slopes are home to a number of rare and interesting plants, including eastern hemlock. The remainder of the preserve, consisting of rugged hills forested with mesic upland hardwoods, along with cliff-bordered Raccoon Creek, makes this one of the more scenic nature preserves.
…more information Green’s Bluff Preserve