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Indiana Humanities Trek and Talk

By: JACQUELINE CROMLEIGH, Communications & Community Relations Manager Indiana Humanities

Our Next Indiana Campfires program is connecting us to some fantastic Hoosiers, including Danielle and Kate Nolan of DNK Presents. Learn a little more about these passionate and inspiring ladies below.

Meet Danielle and Kate Nolan of DNK Presents!

You can join the duo on an overnight camping and hiking adventure through Morgan-Monroe State Forest on July 8-9. New to camping? No worries! They’ll be teaching you everything you need to know about outdoor adventures including what to pack, how to set up a campfire and more.

Tell us a little more about DNK Presents. How did it start? 

Danielle & Kate: We started DNK Presents because of our love of the great outdoors and adventure. We truly live our lives adventurously, and found that others were noticing and wanted to join the fun. We wanted to bridge the gap for people to try something for the first time, disconnect from technology and reconnect with themselves through outdoor experiences. We also realized that we excelled in our professional and personal lives because of our connection with nature and the challenges we had overcome in the outdoors. Outdoor adventures improve quality of life, reduce stress, help build relationships, improve sleep patterns, reduce anxiety, and provide endless physical, mental and spiritual benefits. Our goal is to provide a well-cultured, active and adventurous community and lifestyle.

What sparked your love for the outdoors?

Danielle: Our love for the outdoors definitely started at a young age for both of us. It was not uncommon to have my mom flickering the lights to signal it was time to come inside and have dinner since it had turned dark.

What drew you to Next Indiana Campfires?

Danielle & Kate: Next Indiana Campfires is an awesome program to get people enjoying the great outdoors in Indiana. We have so much to offer here but sometimes you do have to seek it out. Next Indiana Campfires is making it easy to get outside, meet new people and learn about the history of our great state as well.

You’ve adventured to the Grand Canyon, “netwalked” along the Cultural Trail and even enjoy some rock climbing. Can you describe a few of your adventures? What makes our Next Indiana Campfires adventure special?

Danielle & Kate: With DNK Presents Adventures we focus on getting people to step outside their comfort zone and try something for the first time. We lead backpacking, hiking, mountain bike clinics, indoor to outdoor rock climbing programs and paddle trips, consisting of day, overnight and week long excursions. Our adventure with Next Indiana Campfires is so exciting because we get to partner with an awesome nonprofit like Indiana Humanities, we get to learn ourselves from the exciting scholar they have selected for our backpack adventure, and we get to do all this and expose people to one of Indiana’s best backcountry trails!

Where’s your favorite place to spend time outdoors in Indiana? Have you discovered a hidden gem that more Hoosiers should know about?

Danielle & Kate: There are SO many awesome places to go in Indiana but one of our favorite spots has to be camping on the Peninsula Trail in Deam Wilderness which is part of Hoosier National Forest. It is Indiana’s only accredited wilderness and is named after Indiana naturalist and scholar himself Charles C. Deam.

Is there a piece of environmental literature you think everyone should read?

Danielle & Kate: John Muir, Aldo Leopold, Charles C Deam and Ralph Waldo Emerson all have written so many beautiful books.

What’s on your Bicentennial bucket list?

Danielle:  I think it would have to include the waterfall tour! We’ve been seeing these maps popping up in our newsfeed on Facebook, I’m not sure who started it but we would love to do a tour of the waterfalls in Indiana, how fun!

Kate: This year’s Hoosier Mountain Bike Association’s Brown County Epic Ride. We’ve been volunteering to build new trails at Crooked Creek in Yellowwood State Forest but haven’t had the opportunity to ride them. The trails will be part of this year’s Epic Ride. I’m very excited to cover 100 miles of Indiana single track!

Curious about DNK Presents adventures? Learn more here.


Next Indiana Campfires is a unique way to connect nature, literature and Indiana’s Bicentennial. The program is supported by the Efroymson Family Fund, the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust and Pulitzer Prizes Centennial Campfires. Indiana Humanities is supported in part by Lilly Endowment Inc. and the National Endowment of the Humanities. 

This post is part of the weekly blog series devoted to the initiative. Check back every Tuesday to learn more about Indiana’s great environmental literature, find out interesting facts about Hoosier stewardship, get all the latest program details and more

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