Bradford Woods: Outdoor Learning in Martinsville

Bradford Woods, in Martinsville, Indiana, is an affiliate of Indiana University, sometimes known as the Indiana college‘s outdoor university. It is comprised of 2,400 acres of beautiful, rambling hills in southern Indiana, close to the state capital, Indianapolis.

The Bradford Woods complex can be divided into three different centers: the therapeutic recreation area, the area for environmental education and the area for adventure education. These centers are described briefly below.

Bradford Woods Therapeutic Recreation Program

Partnering with such state facilities as Riley Hospital, the Marion County Health Department, Little Red Door Cancer Agency and the United Cerebral Palsy Association, the Bradford Woods Therapeutic Recreation Program offers special Martinsville events and various programs for children and adults with special health care needs, including chronic illnesses and disabilities.

Bradford Woods Environmental Education Program

In existence for more than 50 years, this Martinsville education program has racked up some impressive and memorable outdoor experiences for students and their teachers. The program seeks to enhance students’ relationships with the environment through short-term day programs as well as overnight packages.

Day programs offer hands-on, up-close education on the environment, learning about it and playing in it through such activities as canoeing and fishing. A lesson might include how maple syrup is made, gathering wild edibles, survival training or a history hike.

Overnight programs are for students of all ages, and provide a long-term continuity that day programs lack, and the time and means to go into its thematic content with depth.

Video of a leadership challenge at Bradford Woods in Martinsville, Indiana

Bradford Woods Adventure Education Program

This innovative program, geared to both groups and the individual, offers activities and discussions aimed at encouraging individual growth on many different levels. Leadership, therapeutic intervention, team development and outdoor technical skills are just a few of the subjects addressed.

Known as “challenge education,” the Adventure Education Program in Bradford Woods provides a safe, guided environment to challenge each student and help them learn about their relationship with the environment, their community and themselves.

Bradford Woods Summer Camps

Throughout the summer, groups from all over the Midwest come to Martinsville to┬áspend time at Bradford Woods, and their camping facilities are touted as the best for disabled children, many of whom receive support from Riley Children’s Foundation.

Campers get to enjoy 2500 acres of beautiful summertime woods, learning about nature and doing activities such as archery, swimming and canoeing. The Summer Camp program isn’t just for kids. Many adult groups and organizations also participate.

Bradford Woods is the largest privately owned natural area in Indiana, and its programs and well-trained instructors have been enhancing participants’ lives for over half a century.

Bradford Woods
Indiana University’s Outdoor Center
5040 State Rd 67 N
Martinsville, IN 46151