Guide to RECREATION in Columbus, Indiana

Anderson Falls

Located five miles east of Columbus, off of Highway 46
More information and photos of Anderson Falls

A forty-four acre park featuring a cascading waterfall (amount of water varies by rainfall) and two hiking paths of 1.75 and 2.25 miles.

Directions : from Columbus, go east on SR 46 about 8.5 miles to CR 925 E (on the right) and turn right. The road will turn sharply left, becoming CR 200 N. Follow this road about 2.2 miles to CR 1140 E (on the left just before the creek) and turn left. Go about 0.4 mile to the parking lot on the left.

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Blue’s Canoe Livery is located just north of Columbus and nearby Indiana Premium Outlets. It is an outdoor recreation center that provides canoe, kayak, and raft trips on the Driftwood River, as well as camping and smallmouth bass fishing. The most popular river trips flow through a secluded state wildlife preserve and a part of Camp Atterbury wilderness area, where you may encounter deer, beaver, great blue heron, osprey, and wild turkey. There are occasional mild rapids for added excitement. Large groups are welcome, overnight camping is available, and a shelter house can be used for picnics.

See also Pathfinder Outfitters for more kayaking adventures in the area.

BMX track at Dunn Stadium

876 Spears Street, North of 4H Fairgrounds, Columbus
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Columbus BMX is your home for racing excitement and family fun! Anybody, any age, can race BMX. All you need is a bike and a desire to have fun! Come join us at the track to learn more about the exciting sport of BMX racing! There is a spot for everyone in BMX, from the two-year-old on a Strider bike, to the expert racer chasing an Olympic dream, to Moms and Dads looking for a fun new form of exercise.

Less than ten minutes southeast of Columbus, your family can have their pick of a wide range of recreation options at CERA Park, a 345-acre park with both indoor and outdoor activities. You may have a hard time choosing from the many things you can do, there’s a stocked lake for fishing, paddle boats, row boats, canoes, seven shelter houses, and picnic areas. Then there are two outdoor basketball courts, shuffleboard courts, six horseshoe pits, two sandpit volleyball courts, a go-kart track, an 18-hole miniature golf course, a driving range, six tennis courts, an outdoor amphitheater that hosts many events, playgrounds, a remote control airplane strip, a rifle and archery range, a trap and skeet range, nine ball diamonds, an aquatic center with a large water slide and toddler play area.

Or you can head indoors and use the 30,000-square-foot sports and fitness center with two full gyms, a cardio room, a running/walking track, a weight room, and locker rooms, as well as a Fitness Center to help you achieve your fitness goals! Outdoor enthusiasts will also appreciate how close the park is to two state parks that are favorites in Indiana: Brown County State Park, the largest in the state known for its stunning vistas, is only thirty minutes away, and Clifty Falls State Park, with its must-see waterfalls, is only sixty minutes away.

CERA is also known for its beautiful 355-site campground, including camping cabins, and has been a prime location for motor coach and camping club rallies. In 2013, CERA was given a ranking of 9/10 for facilities, 9/10 for restrooms, and 10/10 for appeal by Good Sam Camping Club and the park is now a Good Sam Certified destination. CERA also hosts many local youth camping retreats for scouts, church groups, and school athletic teams, because they have found that it is a perfect choice for team building and camaraderie.

TripAdvisor reviewer Rhilohso recently wrote, “We had a beautiful campsite right on the lake and under some beautiful pine trees. It was really the best campsite we have ever stayed in. So much nature but also so many others things to do there. We enjoyed kayaking (brought our own), putt putt, disc golf, driving range etc. We took a day trip to Brown County State Park for horseback riding and hiking. Great fall weekend with family.”

In addition, CERA is the host site for Bartholomew County Little League, Fastpitch Softball, and Baseball tournaments and leagues, and is an AAU-sanctioned park.

Columbus Bowling Center

3010 State Street
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Whether you’re a competitive bowler or a casual bowler we have a league that fits you. Have a blast under the black lights cosmic bowling with your friends!
Columbus Rock Gym

1551 Cottage Ave
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Be part of a climbing community that is passionate, determined, and supportive. Whether you’re here for a day or committed to years, we’ve got exactly what you need. The cheapest climbing prices you’ll find in the region! Guaranteed.

Donner Park
Donner Park has a 50-meter outdoor pool with a 160-foot water flume slide, in-pool climbing wall during special periods, a snack bar, and a zero-depth pool. The park also has picnic areas, shelterhouse, restrooms, play areas, and basketball courts, shuffleboard and horseshoes, People Trails, multi-purpose room with seating for 350. Four Tennis courts are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Photo by The Republic newspaper

Hamilton Center and Ice Arena

2501 Lincoln Park Drive
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The original Swiss chalet style building was designed by Harry Weese as a community building with warming house and changing rooms for an outdoor ice rink. The building exterior features rough-hewn granite boulder battered walls and glass with views to the exterior. The interior features triple-peaked roof with wood beams and planking. A central granite fireplace, highlighting the spacious interior, is surrounded by wooden benches, an inviting sight to chilled skaters.

Because of an increased community interest in ice skating and the need to extend the skating season, the community decided to enclose the outdoor rink in 1975. Koster and Associates designed the enclosure of the large ice arena as an extension of the existing center with similar exterior materials and architectural details, and now includes a regulation- sized hockey rink and an adjacent practice rink, so the facility offers year-round skating.

Jolie Crider Memorial Skate Park

In Clifty Park – across from East High School
Video review of the skate park on YouTube
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The city’s latest design destination is unique – it’s a skatepark designed by Janne Saario, a Finnish landscape architect and former professional skater.

As noted in an Oct. 1, 2019 New York Times article: “The podcast ’99 Percent Invisible’ got Mr. Saario the job: Jonathan Nesci, a designer who lives in Columbus and is the father of a skater, cold-emailed the architect after listening to ‘The Pool and the Stream,’ a 2017 episode about the connection between curvaceous swimming pools and skatepark design featuring Mr. Saario.” – read the full NYT article by Alexandra Lange

See more photos of the skatepark

Landscape Management recognized this 85-acre riverfront park as one of the top 100 parks in the nation for design, reputation, and accessibility. Designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh, and featuring structures by Stanley Saitowitz, it includes an 84-foot observation tower, a covered bridge, people trails, fishing at two lakes, picnic shelters, playground equipment, horseshoe pits, basketball courts, and an amphitheater that hosts concerts and performances.

Mill Race Park is managed by Columbus Parks and Recreation. Contact them at (812) 376-2680.

People Trails
Anything people powered is welcome on the more than 27 miles of paved trails, and the route in and around town and into the countryside is a pleasant way to enjoy the outdoors. The paths run very close to three rivers, two creeks, plenty of green space and productive farmland. Great for leisurely exercise with a distraction or two.
Columbus Skateland is a locally-owned and locally-operated skating rink that has been serving the Columbus area for over 35 years. This clean, safe, reasonably-priced, family-orientated facility serves Columbus and surrounding South Central Indiana counties.
Jubilee Farm Studio

11520 Moores Vineyard Rd, Columbus, IN 47201


Jubilee Farm Studio Website

Map to Jubilee Farm Studio


Jubilee Farm Studio

Pet, paint, and grow! Jubilee Farm Studio has it all! These local homesteaders have a big love of animals and imagination. Make sure to check out their studio space and get in touch with your creative side through their variety of classes.

While on the farm, meet and greet their team of goats, pigs, chickens, and bunnies – many of whom are rescues! Their farm stand is open during harvest season and offers healthy produce like eggs and flowers.

Jubilee was designed as a space where people of any age can gather, laugh, play, and explore art mediums. Here, we build friendships, bond with animals, get in touch with the land and express ourselves through art.

Touch the Earth / Tangeman Woods

Touch the Earth

Located conveniently near State Road 46 just west of Columbus, this preserve is one of the larger protected natural areas in Bartholomew County and is an excellent spot for hiking and bird watching. Sycamore’s Tangeman Woods preserve is less than a mile away, just on the other side of State Road 46.

A mowed parking area along County Club Road provides access to two miles of mowed trails through scenic woods and former farm fields that have reverted to nature. The trail features several benches and an observation deck. Dedicated neighbors volunteer to keep the trail and parking area mowed for visitors.

Located less than a mile from Tangeman Woods

Tangeman Woods

Tangeman Woods is a beautiful mixed hardwood forest with intermittent creeks, located on the eastern edge of southern Indiana’s rugged Norman Upland. The Outdoor Lab nature trail, created by the Bartholomew County Soil and Water Conservation District in the 1970s, is still used for school field trips, including those conducted by Sycamore’s Environmental Education Program.

The Outdoor Lab trail features bridges over shallow but steep ravines, which have been repaired and enhanced by several Boy Scout service projects. Sycamore staff have worked to enhance the forest by controlling invasive bushes including privet and burning bush, and monitor annually for garlic mustard near the trailhead.

Located less than a mile from Touch the Earth

Pauline Crump Nature Preserve & Trail

This one-mile loop trail is perfect for a leisurely stroll through the woods. There is a low head dam along the trail and it is connected to the People’s Trail between 25th Street and Rocky Ford Road along Marr Road. Making it perfect for bird watching, running, and fishing.

The trail was developed in honor of Pauline Crump by Ed Niespodziani and the Columbus North Environmental Club.



Otter Creek Golf Course

11522 E. 50 N., Columbus
A Robert Trent Jones course
Find out more about Otter Creek
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Otter Creek Golf Course has been ranked among the top 25 public golf courses in the U.S. since its inception in 1964. Located in the midst of a serene countryside, Robert Trent Jones Sr. created the original 18 holes of this championship course. His design harmonizes the gently rolling hills of southern Indiana with adding his incredible knowledge of the game by utilizing the existing contours of the land to ensure that each shot is as natural as it could possibly be.

Many championship tournaments have been held at this property, including: the 1991 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship, AJGA tournaments, NCAA regional championships, the Independent Youth classic, and the Indiana Men’s Amateur Championship – 26 times. The course has also served as a qualification site for the U.S and Senior Open, plus the National Public Links.

Clifty Creek Golf Course
Clifty Creek Golf Course (9 holes)
12000 E Co Rd 225 N, Hope, IN 47246
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Nine-hole golf course featuring 2,955 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par 36. This pristine course on rolling terrain is known as “The Relax Spot.”
Greenbelt Golf Course (9 holes)

1000 N Gladstone Ave, Columbus,
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A nine-hole community golf course in the heart of Columbus. In 1976, the course was renovated and redesigned by architect Pete Dye, ASGCA, and was renamed Greenbelt.

Previously Columbus Golf Club, the course was established in the 1930s. In 1974, Columbus Golf Club was turned over to the Parks Department, through the encouragement of the City Golf Club Board and the golf community.

Rocky Ford Par 3 golf course - Columbus, Indiana
Rocky Ford Par 3 (18 holes)

200 Par 3 Drive, Columbus, IN
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Brown County State Park is located just thirty miles due west of Columbus. Nicknamed “The Little Smokies,” Brown County has nearly 16,000 acres of rugged hills, ridges, and fog-shrouded ravines. 

Indiana’s largest park is a traditional fall colors hot spot, with nearly twenty miles of tree-lined roads and vistas overlooking miles of uninterrupted forest.

And, of course, Nashville is on the edge of the park and features dozens of art galleries, artisan shops, and restaurants.

Nearby - Explore Brown County
Explore Brown County Adventure Park offers: 15 zip lines, paintball, ATV and buggy tours, 30 miles of mountain biking and hiking trails. Explore Brown County has the fastest, longest and tallest twin racing zip line in Indiana! Soar over a mile of cable to heights of 80’ through treetops, over hollows, and a lake. Buggy and ATV Tours explore 1,000 acres visiting historic sites. Paintball offers over 90 acres of woods and Speedball. Harvest Hall seats 250 while camping cabins sleep up to 80.