This cold weather couldn’t stop me from checking off another county on my Explore Indiana adventure! Recently, I spent a few hours discovering as much as I could about Fayette County in Eastern Indiana. I found a ton of things to do in and around Connersville, the largest town in the county.

With delicious drive-in food, a lovely courthouse, a downtown with plenty of murals, fun winter hiking, AND pie, it was a wonderful afternoon away from the daily grind. And if it’s summer and you have a train aficionado in your family, visiting the Whitewater Valley Railroad in Connersville is a must.

Hike in the snow? You bet!

I started my day with a fun hike in the snow at the Shrader-Weaver Nature Preserve. With nicely marked paths and easy access right off the parking lot, it was a fun little winter hike. This preserve is a National Natural Landmark and it protects 96 acres of old-growth natural forest as well as newer forest. There are two trails within the preserve. 

Hiking can be a fun way to spend a winter day.

It’s easy to stop hiking once the weather turns colder, but by investing in a good pair of snow boots (here are mine which I LOVE) and dressing warmly, you can still enjoy the fresh air and a bit of outdoor exercise.

As a bonus, the trails are rarely crowded. You’ll get an entirely different experience and you can’t beat the peacefulness of a winter hike. I did read that this particular preserve is a wonderful place to see wildflowers, so I may have to make a return trip in the spring to check that out!

Enjoy an old-fashioned drive-in

After working up an appetite, I drove into Connersville, IN to check out Kunkel’s Drive In. This drive-in has been serving burgers, fries, and other yummy food since 1954. Each spot has its own menu board and you simply press the button on the speaker to order.

Enjoy an old-fashioned drive-in for lunch in Connersville, Indiana

Obviously I had to try the Kunkel burger, so I ordered that and made it a meal with fries and a drink.

Yummy drive-in lunch in Connersville, Indiana

The burger was delicious – two patties, lettuce, sauce and more. Very tasty. The fries were average – I’d probably try a more creative side next time like fried pickles or cheese cubes. Overall though it was a tasty lunch and well worth the stop.

Checking out the square

Although the businesses on the square in Connersville were a bit sparse, the courthouse was pretty – and a bit different from many of the typical Indiana courthouses. The style is Romanesque Revival and it was built in 1890.

Lovely courthouse in Connersville, Indiana

Just about every corner had a mural or two, so if you are a fan of murals, definitely walk around downtown to check them out.

Love trains? Then Connersville is a must visit

One of the fun things to do that Connersville is most known for is the Whitewater Valley Railroad. It’s near downtown and easily accessible. There weren’t any events going on when I visited, but every year they have a Thomas the Train ride, a Polar Express ride, along with several other fun events.

When the kids were little, I took them on the Thomas the Train ride and my son especially enjoyed it. It’s a terrific day trip for anyone who loves trains. Plus, it’s a short hour and a half from Indianapolis, so after a train ride and lunch, it’s easy to get home in time for dinner.

End the day with pie

I can never pass up a homemade pie, so on my way out of town, I stopped at Daniel Girls Farmhouse Restaurant (located right on a downtown corner) and picked up a few slices of pie to go. With a case full of choices, I settled on a slice of apple pie and a slice of oreo cookie.

My daughter and I enjoyed them later that night and both were delicious! I’d highly recommend ending your day with pie too!

Love day trips to small towns? Check out these other favorites near Indy: Spencer, Kokomo, and Miami County.

PIN FOR LATER:

Are you up for another fun Indiana day trip? Spending an afternoon in Connersville, Indiana (Fayette County) is the perfect escape from Indianapolis. With the Whitewater Valley Railroad, good food and fun hiking, get ready to enjoy a fun afternoon full of things to do! #daytrips #MidwestTravel
Are you up for another fun Indiana day trip? Spending an afternoon in Connersville, Indiana (Fayette County) is the perfect escape from Indianapolis. With the Whitewater Valley Railroad, good food and fun hiking, get ready to enjoy a fun afternoon full of things to do! #daytrips #MidwestTravel

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