When searching for a fun activity to do for #avaiationday, I discovered that just an hour away is the birthplace of Wilbur Wright. Although I couldn’t make the trip on the actual date (you know, work), I did take off for an afternoon with my son to check it out.
We visited the area on two separate days, but you could easily combine this itinerary for a perfect day in Henry County. It has been so wonderful being able to get back to finding new places for my Explore Indiana project!
Wilbur Wright was born on April 16th, 1867 near Millville, Indiana. The Wilbur Wright Birthplace Museum has a rebuilt version of the house that he lived in for three years, a full-size replica of the 1903 Wright Flyer and a wonderful little museum FULL of historical facts and personal anecdotes about the Wright Brothers.
The museum even houses a replica of the camp Wilbur and Orville set up at Kitty Hawk. We found this part of the exhibit especially interesting. I was really impressed by how much information this museum held. It is out in the middle of nowhere, but well worth the drive if you have any interest in the Wright Brothers or the beginnings of flight.
After browsing the museum, we headed into nearby New Castle for a quick bite to eat. As we were headed into town, we saw a large roadside stand called Weenee World. How could we not stop, right?
Stop at the local hot dog stand
My son ordered a coney dog and said it was delicious – a large dog with lots of coney sauce. I just stuck with a drink, but Weenee World also has a very large selection of ice cream and ice cream treats. Seating is limited to a few picnic tables outside the walkup counter, and there is a drive-through. Next to the picnic tables are a large number of the kiddie rides you see at malls that kids ride on for a quarter. It would be easy to keep youngsters entertained checking them all out.
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Get outside on your perfect day in Henry County
As if a great museum and hot dog stand aren’t enough, Henry County is also home to a wonderful State Park called Summit Lake State Park. There are fewer hiking trails than many of the Indiana State Parks, but that’s a bonus in my book – fewer trails means fewer people!
Our favorite trails were Trail #6 Sunset (a very easy half-mile walk to the lake and back) and Trail #3, the Beach trail. This trail was about a mile and looped through the woods then out to the beach area. Both were quite easy walking and very shaded which made for comfortable hiking even on a hot summer afternoon.
The beach area was a little smaller than the one we found on our recent trip to Whitewater Memorial State Park, but there was plenty of space, and families were doing a great job of social distancing. If we had had a few of our rafts with us, we might have headed down to float in the water for a bit.
This lake seems quite popular with the fishermen. There were quite a few fishing boats and families fishing alongside the shoreline. The park also boasts a fish cleaning station – which I had never encountered at a state park before!
In addition to hiking, there are two kayak trails highlighted on the map (just ask for a map when you enter the park). I’m not sure how to follow a kayak trail, but I’m certainly game to try sometime!
There’s always time for wine!
As we headed home, we saw a sign for Belgian Horse Winery and of course had to stop! The winery is on a beautiful piece of property surrounded by several farms. Currently, the inside tasting room is closed, but there is a walk-up window at the back of the building, so it is easy to order. The wines seemed to run a little on the sweet side, and the one I tried “Springtime Puppy” was a delicious option.
If wine isn’t your thing, Belgian Horse Winery also has a nice selection of local beers and even a few ciders for sale – something for everyone. Food isn’t offered, but I did see a few groups bringing their own food – even pizza from the nearby Pizza King. I believe they also sometimes have food trucks on site.
Outside seating is ample so it was simple to find a table a safe distance from others to enjoy our drinks. There is even a small stage where live music is offered on select weekends.
All in all, with an interesting museum, local hot dog stand, fun hiking, and even a winery, a day trip to Henry County is sure to satisfy the need to get away! And it’s all just an hour away from Indianapolis. Perfect!
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