This is the second in an occasional series of ideas for summer travel throughout Indiana.
There is something for everyone in every corner of the state of Indiana, whether you enjoy history, sports or the outdoors.
All aboard for railroad buffs
Less than an hour away, you can catch the Whitewater Valley Railroad in Connersville and ride the 19-mile route through rural Indiana to the restored canal town of Metamora.
Story continues below gallery
Time really does seem to slow down when you let the engineer do the driving and disembark in Metamora, where visitors can tour the working grist mill and ride on the replica horse-drawn canal boat. All the shops and restaurants are within walking distance.
With a season that runs March through October, the Whitewater Valley Railroad features special events throughout the year.
The Wild West Train (where visitors are likely to meet cowboys, outlaws and robber barons) runs every third Saturday May through October (except June).
The Twilight Limited to Dinner Train takes visitors to dine at the Laurel Hotel. Special event trains such as the Easter Bunny Express, the Mother’s Day Flyer, a Day Out with Thomas the Tank Engine, the Fall Foliage Flyer, the Pumpkin Liner, and the Santa Claus Limited all feature holiday themes and fun for families. For a schedule of regular departure times, special events, and ticket prices, visit whitewatervalleyrr.org.
Living in nature’s luxury
If you enjoy nature but would rather not view it from inside a camper or a tent, Indiana has seven rustic yet luxurious state park inns located throughout the state. The Potowatami Inn, pictured, located at Pokagon State Park in Angola is situated on Lake James for summer fun (and has an onsite toboggan run for winter fun, if you can’t make it this summer).
In the southern part of the state, the Abe Martin Lodge is nestled in the hills of Brown County State Park. It is a popular location for enjoying not only fall foliage but for its proximity to the shops and art galleries of nearby Nashville.
The Canyon Inn at McCormick’s Creek State Park is the oldest of the state park inns and is just 15 miles from Bloomington and Indiana University.
Clifty Inn at Clifty Falls State Park is in Madison and the Spring Mill Inn, featuring a limestone grist mill and a restored 1800s pioneer village, is located in Mitchell.
In west central Indiana, the Turkey Run Inn is located in Parke County, home of the Parke County Covered Bridge Festival.
Closest to home is the Fort Harrison State Park Inn at 59th and Post Road, where visitors can play golf at the Fort Harrison Golf Resort.
All of the Indiana State Park Inns offer rustic yet comfortable lodging, opportunities for outdoor recreation, proximity to restaurants and other tourist locations, and reasonable family packages. Visit in.gov/dnr for more information.
Historic baseball trail
Bosse Field in Evansville, built in 1915, is the third-oldest baseball field in the U.S., surpassed only by Fenway Park in Boston and Wrigley Field in Chicago. It was used as a location for the filming of the 1991 film, “A League of Their Own,” starring Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Madonna and Rosie O’Donnell. It is currently used by the minor league team, the Evansville Otters.
Up the road in Huntingburg is the League Stadium, expanded and renovated for “A League of Their Own” to be used as the home stadium for the film’s team, the Rockford Peaches. Columbia Pictures then donated the stadium to the city of Huntingburg, and it is one of handful of built movie sets that still exists after the filming of the movie. It is home to the DuBois County Bombers. Visitors can enjoy baseball as it was in the 1940s.
The Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame is located in Jasper and features Hall of Famers on the high school, collegiate and professional level.
Gil Hodges’ baseball career (1943 to 1967) is remembered with a mural and a bust in Petersburg, where he attended high school, and the Gil Hodges Field is located in Princeton.
Finally, no trip along the Baseball Trail would be complete without a jump across the river to the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory. The museum’s interactive exhibits include the world’s Biggest Bat, the Glove Sculpture, Bud’s Batting Cage and a tour of the factory.
For more about Indiana’s baseball heritage, visit heartlandhistoricbaseballtrail.com.