Next Indiana Campfires

Next Indiana Campfires pairs nature and literature to ignite conversations about Indiana’s future. Join us for a trek or watch one of the short films we funded that explores our relationship to the White River watershed.

Next Indiana Campfires

Indiana’s landscapes have inspired generations of Hoosiers. The literature they’ve written and the state parks system they founded are legacies we enjoy today. What will we leave for generations to come? Next Indiana Campfires pairs nature and literature to ignite conversations about Indiana’s future.

In 2019, the award-winning Next Indiana Campfires program will head to seven new locations in the White River watershed and in northern Indiana. As we hike and paddle together, we’ll learn about Indiana wildflowers, float through Indy’s Broad Ripple and Rocky Ripple neighborhoods and walk through an oak woodland around a glacial lake. We’ll also see if we can draw comparisons between ecological connectedness and other ways Hoosiers relate to each other across geographic, social, cultural and political boundaries.

Thanks to a sponsorship from Upland Brewing Co., we’ll continue to serve their signature brews on the trail. We are also grateful for the generous support of the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust for underwriting the 2019 series.

Buy the Official Next Indiana Campfires Book!

Next Indiana Campfires: A Trail Companion is a collection of prose and poetry from Indiana Humanities’ award-winning Next Indiana Campfires series. Featuring a Scott Russell Sanders essay, contemporary and classic works by Indiana, Midwestern and Pulitzer Prize-winning authors, and a trail journal to record your own notes from your adventures, this one-of-a-kind anthology is the perfect addition to your backpack.

Get your copy today
Next Indiana Campfire Films

Over the last year, Indiana Humanities has focused its award-winning Next Indiana Campfires program on the White River watershed and the larger question of how Hoosiers relate to water and to each other across watersheds. To explore these connections further we funded the creation of three short films about the White River. 

Learn More and Watch the Films
Bring The Campfire Experience Home

There are still a limited number of Trek and Talk Toolkits available. Each free toolkit includes everything you need to plan your won DIY outdoor adventure, including a text, discussion questions, swag and a snack! Order a toolkit here.

Our friends at Yonder Clothing Company designed this t-shirt, which features one of our favorite Booth Tarkington quotes about the Indiana skies. A portion of the sales benefit Indiana Humanities. Order a t-shirt here.

2019 Next Indiana Campfires

Attend one (or many!) of our outings in Indiana’s diverse and beautiful landscapes. During each outing, a humanities scholar will lead you through a unique Hoosier landscape by foot or kayak, pausing to read aloud the words of important Hoosier authors such as Gene Stratton-Porter, Scott Russell Sanders and Edwin Way Teale. After the excursion, we’ll gather around a campfire for a meal and an Upland Brewing Co. beer to discuss connections between nature, literature and place.

This year’s series is made possible by generous funding from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust; we are proud to be a part of a consortium of Central Indiana organizations helping Hoosiers to access and appreciate the White River. We are also grateful to our friends at Upland Brewing Co. for providing us with delicious, cold beer.

Excursions cost $15 to $20. A limited number of fee waivers will be available for each excursion and will be awarded based on financial need. Please contact Leah Nahmias, director of programs and community engagement, at for details.

Where We've Trekked

Since 2016, we’ve checked off some of our bucket list experiences around the state. Here are the wild places we’ve explored so far:




Contact Leah Nahmias, 317-616-9804, or email