Pokemon Go players welcome at Indiana state parks

Pokemon Go is now the most popular mobile game in U.S. history, according to new data from SurveyMonkey. (AP file)

INDIANAPOLIS (WANE) Not everyone wants Pokemon GO players on their property, however that’s not the case at Indiana state parks. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources in a news release Friday said the game has already accounted for an increase in traffic to state parks as players try to spot a Pikachu or Venomoth in addition to more traditional wildlife.

As of this week, Indiana’s 24 state parks and eight reservoir properties were home to more than 200 locations for the game. State forests also have locations and the number of locations will continue to grow.

“We are happy to have our parks be a part of this game,” said Ginger Murphy, Indiana State Parks deputy director for stewardship. “But we want people to be safe, stay on trails and look up from their phones. You will find that the real-world natural features and historical elements at our state parks are even more fascinating than a video game.”

However, walking around a park or forest while staring at a smartphone can be dangerous. Potential hazards at Indiana state parks include road traffic, cliffs and other rough terrain, wild animals, poison ivy and more. Park officials ask players to pay attention to their surroundings. On hiking trails, be on the lookout for rocks, roots and other hazards.

Pokemon players must also follow property rules. This includes observing park hours, which are 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. at most Indiana state parks. Players should not enter after regular hours of operation. Players should also stay on designated trails. Walking off-trail can damage sensitive natural areas and animal habitats. Players should leave no trace behind.

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