Gaston is a small, quaint town in Delaware County, Indiana. Gaston was originally called New Corner when it was first settled in 1855. The name Gaston was adopted when the railroad was built in the town in 1901.
Gaston is a close-knit community of fewer than 900 people, and this is evident in the fact that it has a volunteer fire department and police department. But if you’re looking for somewhere to get away from the hustle and bustle of big city life, then Gaston is the place for you!
There’s plenty of natural beauty in the surrounding areas, including the Taylor Wilderness, the Shamrock Lakes, and numerous trails. And if you’re missing the big city life, then Indianapolis is only a short drive away. Gaston is constantly looking to draw new visitors and residents and, as such, is in the process of opening new businesses and attractions. There has been an increase in new home construction, with the town hoping to reach a population goal of 2,500 by 2025.
If you and the pooch are planning on spending a few days in the area, then both the Days Inn and Super 8 Motel in nearby Muncie accepts two dogs of any size for an additional fee of $10 per dog, per night.
The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is a non-profit organization that is converting disused railway lines all over the country into walking trails. The Cardinal Greenway is one such trail. Stretching for 61 miles, and passing through Gaston, the trail takes its name from the Cardinal, the last passenger train to regularly travel the route. The Cardinal Greenway is part of the Northern Route of the American Discovery Trail, a series of trails that runs coast-to-coast across the United States. And there’s certainly plenty to see and discover on the Cardinal Greenway, including miles and miles of unspoiled scenery, and hiking that you and the pooch will love.
The Noblesville/White River Greenway Trails offer many interesting finds and beautiful scenery in northwestern Hamilton County. The trail starts at the old Hamilton County Courthouse, and there is a Museum of History at the southwest corner of the courthouse. One of the many sights on the trail includes the inactive “Nickel Plate” Railroad and a boardwalk bridge over the White River. Before the bridge was built, a ferry crossed the river, charging a nickel. You’ll see every kind of building – from mansions to barns – along this trail. The trail takes in Forest Park, which has many amenities, such as picnic tables, shelters, grills, playgrounds, water, and restrooms, as well as a miniature golf course called “Tom Thumb Golf”.
The wonderfully-named Canine Companion Corral in nearby Anderson has everything you need to keep your doggie busy for a few hours. Let him off the leash so he can try out the obstacle course while you sit at one of the nearby tables and relax. Annual pooch passes are available for a nominal fee and will allow you to bring your dog to run and play off-leash at any time. And if your pooch is not worn out after all the obstacle courses, you can go hiking in the nearby Mounds State Park, with the White River running through it.
Another great doggie spot not too far from Gaston is the Emerson Dog Park. Located on the site of the former Emerson Elementary School, it houses a memorial that includes two large original monoliths, one with the school’s name and one with the year it was dedicated (1922). The northern half of the park is fenced in for all dogs, while the southern half is reserved for small dogs. Each section includes a dog waste station and a water fountain that serves both people and dogs. There are shady areas as well as benches which were rehabilitated by a former resident of the neighborhood.
If you're looking for a bite to eat, Vera Mae's Bistro in downtown Muncie serves delicious upscale American cuisine. You can enjoy everything from Turkey Tomato Focaccia, Steak Tips, and Linguine Emilia to seasonal selections such as salmon, scallops, and the Chicken Brie Raspberry plate. As well as delicious desserts, they also serve craft cocktails. There are several dog-friendly tables on the patio for you and your pooch. Afterward, take a stroll around the Emily Kimbrough Historical District – named after author and journalist Emily Kimbrough – a neighborhood that was once home to Muncie's socially elite. The district contains several of Muncie's beautiful late Victorian and Post-Victorian houses.