White's Woods is one of those places that people tend to take for granted. Indiana residents are fortunate that they have access to this wonderful nature location, a space a lot of towns don't necessarily have. Open for use year round, the impact that the nature reserve has on the community is profound. It provides a place to 'get away' without having to actually leave town. Many people use White's Woods for many purposes, and I have yet to come across someone who will speak about it negatively.
Everyone I've spoken to has nothing but praises to sing about the trails that cut a path into the beautiful woods and the benefits that it provides for the community. Living in Indiana at the edge of the woods for 30 years, the Kerrs have a special knowledge of and relationship with the woods which begin in their backyard. From taking their children for walks to walking their dogs, they have spent a fair amount of time enjoying the beauty that has been offered. They talked about how wonderful it was to have a place where they could take a step back, and described it as 'a perfect emotional get away.' This speaks to the benefit a nature retreat offers to the soul, as well as to many other health benefits that getting into the woods can provide. With miles of walking trails, the physical benefits of taking a walk is obvious, but how much nicer is it to take a walk in the woods, where the only interruption is the song of a bird or a quick chat with someone else enjoying the woods?
People seem to enjoy it, because Indiana locals are not the only people who use the woods. The Kerrs told me that many people come from other surrounding towns to use the woods, because like I mentioned, not everywhere is fortunate enough to have a space like White's Woods in their community. And as you can see from the other information on this blog, White's Woods is more than just a place to go for a walk. It has had some controversy over the years, about timbering and deer, gas wells and it's purpose. Some people don't see the need for the reserve, which is truly a sad thing. In our society, there has become a disconnect between people and nature. People see nature as something to control, while it subtly controls us. We need these spaces in our communities to understand the importance, mentally, physically, and spiritually, that they have upon us. I shall leave you with a quote that I think fits lovely: "Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books." John Lubbock
Whites Woods Nature Center is a recreational area in Indiana, Pennsylvania. With miles of trails and wildlife, it's a wonderful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Open from sunrise to sunset daily, the trails are enjoyed by many all year round. There is an entrance into the woods on North 12th Street, or you can enter through the adjoining IUP Co-op park. If you wish to volunteer and keep Whites Woods clean contact White Township Recreation Complex at (724) 349-2667 or through Friends of Whites Woods. Their link is posted below.