When blue skies and warm weather come along, we dream of long strolls in park. The gentle spring breeze and colorful flowers are welcomed after the doldrums of an unpredictable Indiana winter. The paths, parks and gardens in Grant County offer even more to the casual hiker. From trains and rivers to Garfield statues and butterflies, there’s lots to be discovered:
This paved path used to be a railroad track running from Richmond all the way to Marion. The 62-mile trail spans five counties and crosses nine bridges. The portion in this area follows the Mississinewa River, offering a relaxing walk next to a gently flowing river.
Hikers and bikers love this three-mile trail leading right into downtown. The trail occasionally meanders off the old rail bed. Stop along the bridge and watch trains pass by, or continue on to views of picture-perfect farmland.
Stretching along the Mississinewa River, the two-mile path begins at the Washington Street bridge and travels all the way through Matter Park. Along the way, you’ll spot a Garfield statue, playgrounds, historic monuments and benches.
A combination of paved and stoned trail is lined by gorgeous landscaping. The path used to be part of the railway that now makes up the Cardinal Greenway. Reminders of the switching station still sit along the trail. Wave to Garfield on your way to the covered bridges and dog park on the path.
If you’re looking for more trains, a stroll in this park in the heart of Upland promises a train depot, caboose, a clock tower and a wooden train car.
The walking trail winds through the century-old park, showing off the butterfly/wildflower garden, water features, picnic areas, fishing pond and playground. Spot bronze statues along the path, and even a Garfield statue.
Gas City, Indiana
Lap around the large pond and find your way to the petting zoo and fishing spots. The petting zoo is a favorite with families. Bring some change to purchase food to hand-feed the animals.
This scenic park is home to the Historic Obadiah Jones Cabin. The town of Jonesboro was named after Jones, the area’s first settler and abolitionist involved with the Underground Railroad.
Located in the heart of James Dean and Garfield creator Jim Davis’ hometown, this pleasant park offers comfy benches and shady trees. Look up and you’ll spot James Dean and Garfield in the distance on the city’s water tower.
While there are many trails in Grant County, most of them connect and intertwine. Bikers, hikers, joggers and dog walkers can explore as far or near as they’d like. Classic and cool reminders of the area’s train history and local celebrities make every stroll in the park something to talk about.