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Lesser-Known Summer Hangouts


Photo credit: Mikaela Conley

Written by: Mikaela ConleyMay 04, 2017

Salomon Farm Park

Established in 1871, Salomon Farm Park was gifted to the city in 1995 by the Salomon family, according to the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department’s website.

The public park now features a learning center, blacksmithing shop and 1.8-mile walking trail where people can also fish and have picnics.

The park also hosts multiple events throughout the summer. The farm hosts farmer’s markets from 4-7 p.m. on Wednesdays from June 7 to Sept. 6. Much of the food is grown organically, and all of the food is required to be grown within a 75-mile radius of the Fort Wayne area. The market often includes baked goods, honey, maple syrup, handmade craft vendors, food vendors, entertainment and children’s activities.

The farmer’s markets often have musical entertainment and free wagon rides at the farm, which is home to goats, sheep, donkeys, chickens, cows and calves, and pigs that people can see and pet.

This year’s concert on the farm will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Aug. 20 and will feature Adam Stack opening for Hubie Ashcraft and the Drive.

Salomon Farm Park is located at 817 W. Dupont Road, about 7 miles from IPFW’s campus. Hours are 6 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday through Friday, and admission is free. Contact (260) 427-6008 for more information.

Hurshtown Reservoir

The Hurshtown Reservoir was actually built in 1969 for emergency drinking water for the city of Fort Wayne, according to fortwayneparks.org. The reservoir contains 1.8 billion gallons of water pumped in from the St. Joseph River. The water itself is 260 acres surrounded by 100 acres of land. The average depth is about 20 feet.

This location offers an area for people to fish, rent row boats, have picnics, play outdoor volleyball and walk on the 2.75-mile path.

Because it is a city utility entity, no gas boats or swimming are allowed. People are allowed to bring their own canoes, kayaks, and sailboats. Dogs are also welcome, Adkins said.

“When you are out there the water is blue, it’s a gorgeous facility, so I hope that more people take advantage of it because it is a really amazing place,” Adkins said. “You can go out on the water and not see anybody for the rest of the day because the water space is really big, but it’s kind of like a best kept secret in the parks department because no one really knows about it so it’s really relaxing and peaceful out there.”

Hurshtown Reservoir is located at 16000 Roth Road in Grabill, about 13 miles from IPFW’s campus.

Spencerville Bridge

Close to the Hurshtown Reservoir, a small working covered bridge sits atop the Saint Joseph River. The 138-year-old bridge was built in 1873 and is in only remaining covered bridge in Dekalb County. It joined the national historical registry in 1981, according to dekalbcbv.org.

There is a public access point underneath the bridge, as well as trails and fishing areas.

This area is located at County Road 68, in Spencerville, about 17 miles from IPFW’s campus, and is always open.

Lindenwood Nature Preserve

Lindenwood Nature Preserve boasts its 110-acre property in the form of a pond, an open-air pavilion and four different length hiking trails, one being stroller and wheelchair accessible, according to fortwayneparks.org. People can hike, view wildlife, picnic, do photography and relax in the comfort of nature in the city.

There is usually a naturalist on-site as well, in case people have questions or need help.

The four trails come together at a campfire ring inside of the park. The Trillium Trail is half a mile long and is known as the most scenic trail. The Trail of Reflection is a mile long and leads to a pond (it is accessible up until the pond).The Maple Spur trail is half a mile long and intersects with the Trail of Reflection. And the Oak Paradise trail is 0.75 miles, according to fortwayneparks.org.

There are also free led night hikes, although they do ask that people call ahead so they don’t become overbooked, Adkins said.

The led hikes include a strawberry moon hike at 9:30 p.m. June 9. People have the opportunity to hike in a group with the naturalist and observe the strawberry moon. There will also be a Buck Moon Hike 9:30 p.m. July 9. The hikes are typically one hour long and are open to all ages. Contact (260) 427-6008 for more information or to register.

Lindenwood Nature Preserve is located at 600 Lindenwood Ave., about 6 miles from IPFW’s campus.  Lindenwood is open from dawn to dusk every day, and admission is free. Pets and bikes are prohibited.

Ardmore Quarry

An observation tower overlooks the large Quarry at Hanson Aggregates. The tower was established in 1967.

“Typically, the public doesn’t get to view the quarry and its surroundings, so we wanted to do a community outreach observatory where the community could come out from daylight to dusk to view the operation and what we do here,” said Brett Pepple, plant manager.

From the tower, viewers can see heavy equipment hauling lime-stone from the quarry wall to the primary crusher, Pepple said.

Hanson Aggregates is located at 6100 Ardmore Ave., about 9 miles from IPFW’s campus. The observation tower can be found on Sandpoint Road West. Admission is free.

Additional reporting by: Zachary D. Elick