Hey Pit Stoppers! Time for another week of Pit Stops for the Explorer in you! This week we are going over Indiana Pit Stops. If you missed last weeks post on Illinois Pit Stops, click here!
Okay, let’s dive on into these Indiana Pit Stops!
Indiana Pit Stops
For those of you who don’t know, or who think there is nothing special about the rocks and stones around the Bloomington and Bedford areas of Indiana get ready to be surprised. Here you will find some of the finest limestone in the US, and maybe even the world. You may not know this fun fact, but the Empire State Building is made of Indiana limestone! Cool, huh? Actually several iconic buildings are made up of Indiana limestone.
An important fact you should know before heading that way, the property is private, so you may get yelled at by a grumpy old man wearing a hard hat. Not only that, but directions to get there are a bit sketch, so do some research on how to get there and don’t be afraid to stop and ask for help, they’ll know the way!
In case you decide to make an entire day out of this, there are multiple quarries in the area. All you need to do is a little research to find out where they are and how to get to them.
This is a stop that you won’t soon forget!
You can take the Cavern tour, which is an hour long boat ride through the underground river of the Blue Springs Caverns. If you get lucky, you may see some of the blind cavefish, blind crayfish, some bats, or maybe even a cave salamander.
Also, don’t forget to walk along the nature trail in the Bolton Natural area, you can see one of Indiana’s largest sinkholes.
Like I said, this is one of those spots you won’t soon forget. It’ll be fun for the entire family!
I bet you’re thinking this is some ancient collection of statuary, but it’s not!
The Ruins is actually remains of a New York skyscraper preserved as if it were classical art. The sculptures that lie here have so much story behind them. It is truly a sight to see! Each sculptured body represents a different race, all working together.
This park has been updated in recent years and is now more beautiful than ever!
If you like adventuring into the unknown, this is the place for you.
Somewhere in the backwoods of Bloomington, Indiana (corner of Knightridge Road & E. Lampkins Ridge Road) lies the abandoned Knightridge Space Observatory. The dome was built in 1936 and the circulating dome was used up until the city of Bloomington grew so large that the delicate viewing was not as effective as it once was. This led to the Observatories abandonment.
Seriously, this place will probably give you the creeps, or at least an eerie feeling. So, be prepared as this is one of those creepy Indiana Pit Stops!
Originally created as a place for meditation by the Rappites, an ultra-religious German society in the early 19th century. Although the Rappites are no longer, the Labyrinth is the most beautiful of their lasting remains.
In the 1930’s the Labyrinth was turned into a maze, however in 2008 it was restored to it’s original form. The entire town has preserved buildings and takes you back in time as an early American religious utopia.
Like amusement parks?! What about abandoned ones??
Rose Island was a very popular amusement park back in the early 20th century. It has since diminished due to the flood of 1937. Now all that remains is the ruins of what used to be.
It really is an interesting and eerie place to see!
This is such a cool spot!
Ever been at the bottom of a hill and seen a ball rolling up the hill? Well, you will certainly see that here in Mooresville! Legend has it, the spirits of children that have died from a bus/train accident, are pushing things up the hill and out of harm’s way, defying the physics of gravity.
Are you a feline lover? Here in Center Point, Indiana is the EFRC, or Exotic Feline Rescue Center. Which is one of the largest rescue centers in the US for abused, unwanted and neglected exotic felines.
When EFRC first opened its doors, it had only three felines, now over 25 years later it is the home of over 200, and nine different species. This is not a zoo, it is a rescue center. So wear a pair of good walking shoes, and prepare for an hour long tour outside on gravel paths.
Although there is absolutely no touching or interacting with the animals, you can see them in their own home environment and they are very well taken care of!
Are you driving through Elkhart, Indiana?! Then you, my friend, are in the RV capital of the world! This is where over 80% of RVs are manufactured.
This is the coolest museum.. The museum is half museum, half campground. The lots are lined with vintage RV’s and the path is made to look like the blacktop road with stripes down the center as if it were a real road.
Being so into campers and #VanLife, this is my kind of museum!
Jug Rock is believed to be the largest free standing table rock east of the Mississippi River. Mainly because formations of this sort do not survive in this part of the country due to erosion, humidity, freezing, thawing, etc. You’re more likely to see this in the western US than in the midwestern or eastern states. That is largely why Jug Rock is such an awesome place to go visit for us midwesterners.
Have you ever learned what sinkholes are and how they come to be? Check out the sinkholes of Mt. Baldy, the forever shifting sand dunes. Mt. Baldy is the tallest dune south of Lake Michigan, moving each year, just as sand dunes do.
They are located on the beach of Lake Michigan so you can relax on the beach then decide to take a spring to the top of Mt. Baldy. Good luck!
Driving through in June to mid-August? Stop in at the first artificial white water course in North America! The class 2 rapids compare to those of the Colorado River with waves up to six feet tall and falls as deep as 12 feet, depending on the flow of the river. This is an adrenaline junkies dream!
Not only that but the waterway has some rich history as well. Before becoming a thrill seekers paradise, the waterway was used to power South Bend factories by using steam powered generators. It eventually went unused so in the early 1980’s the waterway was turned into the water rafting waterway you see today.
You can’t go wrong by visiting France Park. There are amenities for all, including swimming or scuba diving in the clear waters of the abandoned stone quarry. Hiking, biking and cross country skiing the 5-11 mile trails, fishing, camping and even golfing. It is sure to please the adventurers of all types.
Anywhere near West Lafayette? Take a hike into the trails of the West Lafayette woods and stop at this history rich rock formation where the Shawnee prophet, Tenskwatawa, stood and cast a protective spell over his Native American people to protect them from the Americans during the Battle of Tippecanoe. Unfortunately, the spell did not work and dozens of Native Americans died in battle.
Although a sad story, the rock formation, hiking and history really make this a great pit stop in Indiana.
No matter what the season, Indiana Dunes National Park (previously Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore) is a great pit stop to make! Each time of year has some great amenities and things to see.
The park is best known for its 15-miles of coastline beaches, However the cuisine, nightlife, scenery, and adventures are world class! There are over 7 miles of hiking trails and over 350 species of birds. This trip is one that is sure to please the entire family!
There you have it!
If you can think of any others that I have missed, please comment down below. I would love to learn about other Indiana Pit Stops!
Until next time, don’t ever stop #ChasingDaydreams
Looking for some Illinois Pit Stops?! Check out this post!
What about you? Are you planning to Escape the Rat Race to travel? Check out my Diary of an Almost Nomad, here.
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