Indiana, meaning the "Land of the Indians," is a state in the Great Lakes region of the Midwestern United States. Residents of Indiana are called Hoosiers. It is bounded on the north by Lake Michigan and the state of Michigan; on the east by Ohio; on the south by Kentucky, with which it shares the Ohio River as a border; and on the west by Illinois. Indiana is one of the Great Lakes states.
The northwest corner of the state is part of the greater metropolitan area of Chicago and is therefore more densely populated. Southern Indiana is a mixture of farmland and forest. The Hoosier National Forest is a 200,000 acre nature preserve in south central Indiana. Southern Indiana's topography is more varied and generally contains more hills and geographic variation than the northern portion, such as the "Knobs," a series of 1,000 ft. hills that run parallel to the Ohio River in south-central Indiana. The limestone geology of Southern Indiana has created numerous caves and one of the largest limestone quarry regions in the USA.
Indiana has an invigorating climate with strongly marked seasons. Winters are often cold, sometimes bitterly so. The transition from cold to hot weather can produce an active spring with thunderstorms and tornadoes. Oppressive humidity and high temperatures arrive in summer. Autumn is favored by many residents as a pleasant time of the year with lower humidity than the other seasons, and mostly sunny skies.