Metamora, Indiana shops, mill and Whitewater canal

Metamora is a quaint little historic village located about halfway between Indianapolis and Cincinnati on US Highway 52. In the mid 1800’s it was a thriving town on the then busy Whitewater Canal. Horse drawn barges carried goods, the grist mill ground flour and a railroad serviced the village.

The grist mill

We visited on a Friday afternoon during what they call Christmas Walk. There are quite a few shops and places to eat in the village. It used to be a thriving tourist attraction. However on our visit there were very few people. The folks we saw appeared to be resident shop owners.

Canal boat grounded until the canal is repaired and full. It does make a good platform for Christmas decor

The canal aqueduct that runs over another creek. This is the only one in existence

 

 

 

 

 

 

The canal usually offers horse drawn boat rides, however there is some kind of construction underway and the canal is about empty. There will be no boat rides until sometime in 2018.

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A one ton granite ball floats on water

I had to try moving the ball! It rotates with a tiny touch.

I had to try moving the ball! It rotates with a tiny touch.

The 28 inch diameter, 2000 pound granite sphere floats on a cushion of water pumped up from a fountain below. The socket of the granite base is precision carved to allow an 8/1000th inch thick layer of water that the ball rests on. Even a child can rotate the ball!

This marvelous floating granite ball fountain is in front of the Nature Center at Holliday Park in Indianapolis. 

Indiana’s huge covered bridge festival

Large crowds looking for that elusive bargain!

Large crowds looking for that elusive bargain!

Each October Parke County, Indiana is the scene of the annual Covered Bridge Festival. This event sees close to two million people converging on the area for a ten day festival. While there are several beautiful vintage covered bridges scattered throughout the county, most folks come for the shopping.

And shopping there is! There are several small communities that become filled with vendor tents, food concession trailers and outdoor ‘yard sale’ type setups. It is true to state that if you can think of it it can be found for sale somewhere amongst the thousands of different vendors set up.

That's our RV on the right in the background, set up at the old school campground at Bridgeton Indiana

That’s our RV on the right in the background, set up at the old school campground at Bridgeton Indiana

We have set up camp in the little town of Bridgeton at an old (1920’s) school building grounds. There are several vendors set up on the grounds along with some food concession trailers. A few blocks north of our location there are hundreds of inside and outside vendors set up selling their wares. There are hand made crafts, new merchandise, antiques large and small and tons of “re-purposed” items. It is amazing how many ways an old wood pallet can be reused!

One of the hundreds of vendor displays at Bridgeton

One of the hundreds of vendor displays at Bridgeton

The Parke County Covered Bridge Festival should be on your bucket list. It is one of the largest festivals of its kind in the country. People from all over the country come to shop, as well as come to set up their booths and tents to sell. There are plenty of RV campgrounds nearby and many private land owners open their yards and fields for RVs to camp during the festival.

Shipshewana, Indiana in the heart of Amish country

This display in front of an antique store aptly describes the Shipshewana area

This display in front of an antique store aptly describes the Shipshewana area

Shipshewana, Indiana is a tiny community in LaGrange County in the northeast corner of the state. The rural area is one of the largest communities of Amish families in the Midwest. The main roads all have extra wide shoulders to allow for safe travel for the horse drawn buggies and wagons.

The area is known for its many tourist attractions, including a huge flea market that is open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. In addition, there are many small shops in the town featuring hand made crafts, country decor items and antiques. As you might expect, you can take a horse drawn carriage ride or even enjoy a home made meal at one of the Amish homes who open there doors to visitors.

There are several nice RV parks in the area. All are reasonably priced. There is an RV park that is part of the flea market grounds. Enjoy a level, full hook up site that is just steps away from the market.

Restaurant, bakery and theater all in one!

Restaurant, bakery and theater all in one!

Shipshewana is truly a must see stop for anyone traveling in northern Indiana. Note that several RV companies have their assembly plants in this area. Couple a trip to see RV’s being built with an enjoyable and interesting trip to Shipshewana Amish country and you will have a trip to remember.

Lots of interesting shops to peruse.

Lots of interesting shops to visit.