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The city of Crawfordsville is primarily a mill town. It's largest industry recycles scrap steel for future use, but it is also a quintessential Midwest town, full of historical places and museums. To some, it is known as home to Wabash College, one of only 3 all-male colleges in the country. But the city can boast some wonderful natural resources, too, that will please outdoors-oriented humans and their fur-pups. An example is the Sugar Creek Trail.
The pooch-friendly Sugar Creek Trail is a rail-trail which follows the southwestern outskirts of Crawfordsville. It meanders through backyards, wooded parks and unused fields. The almost 4-mile trail is paved with asphalt and crushed stone, and is suitable for hiking, skating and bicycling. In the winter, its use includes cross country skiing as well. You and Fido will find trail access at 2 parking lots, one of which at the Christ Lutheran Church offers its restrooms and drinking fountains to hikers. Two other access points are the trailheads for the RR Donnelly Trail and the Rock River Trail. Views of Sugar Creek, plus ample wildlife for Fido to sniff out, make this a great destination for a hike!
Whatever your reason to be in the Crawfordsville area, you’re sure to find something that will please both you and your fur-pup. Lakes, parks and dog-friendly eateries abound, and that’s just woofderful!
The Wabash College neighborhood of Crawfordsville is home to 3 restaurants that provide dog-friendly tables, so Fido can join you for a meal. Arni’s is a pizza restaurant that also serves up salads, sandwiches and burgers perfect for sharing with your fur-pup! Try their Stromboli, or the Mexican Taco Salad! Pawsome! El Corcel offers traditional Mexican fare like burritos and enchiladas along with an entire section of Peruvian cuisine. Buffalo Wild Wings is a traditional wing purveyor that also features pizza, salads with or without meat, fried shrimp and other scrumptious casual fare. Try one of these casual restaurants with Fido by your side, or all 3!
The Ames neighborhood of Crawfordsville contains the city’s largest park, the dog-friendly Milligan Park. Playgrounds and other activities can be found in this 40-acre park, along with wide expanses of lawn , picnic shelters and plenty of room for leisurely walks among the abundant shade trees. A small wooden bridge crosses a creek, and special events, some specifically for doggos, are held here year-round. Truly a family park, your fur-buddy is welcome here, on leash, to join the fun. This neighborhood is also where you’ll find Nibble Park, a small but lovely spot with a play area with equipment and a small shelter, and lots of green grass and trees for dog-walking and relaxing. Pawrific!
About 17 miles southwest of Crawfordsville lies Waveland, home to the dog-friendly Shades State Park. This lovely, peaceful park features views of Sugar Creek from the sandstone cliffs, as well as ravines shaded by mature trees through which hiking trails meander. Your pup can join you as you hike the park’s 11 trails ranging from easy, such as the.5-mile Red Fox Ravine, to very rugged. Some of the trails are impassable because of flooded stream beds, while others require use of ladders to get down to the rail surface, so be sure to check ahead of time. The park provides picnic shelters as well as over 200 camping sites. Also, in this same park is thePine Hills Nature Preserve which features challenging hiking and ample viewing of wildlife and flora. Bring your pup here for a day of backpacking, stay overnight in a camp site, and take a swim in Sugar Creek. It all adds up to fun in the outdoors!
About a ½ hour drive from Crawfordsville is a town named Marshall, which contains the pup-friendly Turkey Run State Park. Turkey Run is built around Sugar Creek and its many tributaries, including the circular Punch Bowl. It contains vast hemlock groves, canyons and ravines through which you and your 4-legged friend can hike, and sandstone cliffs from which to view the beautiful Sugar Creek as it flows by. Choose from one of the 6 shelters to stop and have a casual lunch while you walk one of the 11 hiking trails that range from easy to very rugged. There is a suspension footbridge over Sugar Creek that affords views up and down the waterway, and paved roads for bicyclists. The Creek is a favorite place for canoeing and paddling, and Fido is welcome to join you. Don’t forget his life jacket!
Coatesville is a town about 30 miles south of Crawfordsville that is home to the Vandalia Trail, one of the country’s rail trails formed from unused railway routes. This is a wonderful trail to walk your pup. Over 16 miles long with a mixed surface of asphalt, dirt, grass and gravel, the trail is accessible to bikes as well as hiking, and parts of it are suitable for in-line skating too. In the winter, cross-country skiing is a great way to get some outdoor exercise for both you and your furry bestie. There is convenient parking at the trailhead, and it passes through woodlands that will make you forget you’re within city limits. This park provides unexpected pleasures at every turn!
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