A Treasure in the Middle of Indiana

My interest in the Canals of Indiana and Ohio have led me to Delphi, IN. This is the “home” of the Erie-Wabash Canal. It is the location of the Canal Park which is right on the canal. It is the only navigable part of the canal that is left.

The park features an interactive museum detailing the history of building and maintaining the canal from 1828 to the 1870’s. Also it describes life in the United States during this period. There are lots of exhibits about living along the canal, what was transported, the different kinds of boats, and the people who worked on them. The museum has a wealth of information, displays, and hands-on activities that kids (and some adults .. ahem) love.

Along with the museum there is a pioneer village that preserves several buildings that would be in a canal town. Alas, they are only open on weekends so I did not get inside, but peeking in the windows proved they are furnished to perfection. Also on weekends they have a real canal boat that you can take rides in.

My education was improved, especially pertaining to Fort Wayne, which is my home base. I’ve lived there for 35 years and I knew it ran through Fort Wayne, but I never knew that the groundbreaking for the Canal was there. And  the opening of it was also there, at the Settlers House, a Summit City landmark.

There are several walking trails along the canal and through Delphi which point out historical sites. They all interconnect to form a trail system of 10 miles. I went to Sunset Point where the Wabash River intersects with Deer Creek. The canal went over the creek here to bypass the river.

I find the lives of the people living on the canal and working on it to be fascinating. Like the fact that sometimes men would flag down a passing boat at suppertime, jump on, eat the meal, and then get off so they wouldn’t have to pay a full fare.  I have developed a “research itch” about canal life. And that can only mean there is  possibly will be  might be a book in the future.

One of the best things about the park is that they have a camping area. With free wifi – bonus! The camp hosts were wonderful. Told me all about the place, and even came over to tell me there would be someone coming in at 11 pm, so that I wouldn’t be worried since I was the only one there at the time.

So if you’re thinking that Indiana doesn’t have much, (besides corn  har har) think again. And go exploring!

 

 

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Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Cuyahoga Valley National Park is unique.  It’s a recent addition to the National Park System, 1970’s, and was created in an urban area. In fact, it feels more like a National Forest because there are villages and towns and county roads inside its borders.

Civilization intrudes in many ways, like Highway 271.

Many areas of the park are actually city parks in the Cleveland metropark system. The Cuyahoga Valley lies just south of Cleveland, Ohio. It features the Ohio-Erie Canal and has many museums and historic sites. The one on the history of the canal system is excellent.

Other attractions within the park include golf courses, ski resorts, sustainable farms, horse riding trails, and several inns.

The Visitor Center is an historic site itself. It is in the village of Boston Mills and was a tavern/rest stop for canal boats.

There are several nature centers, too. The one I visited is tucked away in the woods.

I did a little hiking, but as you can see, the weather was not cooperating.

All in all this national park is interesting. And, as a bonus, since it is made up of city parks, there is no entrance fee.

 

By the Bay

” A foggy day….in London Petosky town…”

Driving across northern Michigan, I came across some old familiar names. Stoney Lake, rings a bell but I don’t know why. (There’s a Lutheran Camp there, did I go to it?) Interlochen, home of a famous music and arts camp. Boyne Mountain. I think I went skiing there once.  The city of Petosky. Home of the famous Petosky stone.

It was a dreary, foggy morning, but I wanted to get some more pictures of the Lake. Petosky is on Little Traverse Bay but still….

I ended up in Bayfront Park, a city park that includes a marina.

It also has a 23-mile bike trail running through it, going around the bay from Charlevoix to Harbor Springs. The Little Traverse Wheelway.

  

The park is amazingly beautiful. The waterfall above is just one of the elements. Here’s another.

There’s a bridge over a creek.

This stairway goes up to the highway above the park. Yes I climbed it!

The pond along the bikeway.

   

Some of the structures were lovingly built by the residents of Petosky (Petoskians? Petoskyites?)

   

And of course there’s the birds. We always referred to them as seagulls, but maybe they are lakegulls? Anyone out there know for sure?

   

I’ve been trying to conserve money, but Walmarts are few and far between in this neck of the woods. Ah! There’s one in Cheboygan.  (Cheboygan was always one my favorite words to say, hehe)