Birds, Beer, and Beauty! Things to Do in Jasper County

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Ready for some fun things to do in Jasper County, Indiana? The weather app showed the last Thursday of Fall Break to be in the 70s, and since it’s mid-October in Indiana, that could easily be the last warm day until Spring! So, we hopped in the car to cross off another county for my Explore Indiana series.

I’ve been to Jasper County many times in the past as my dad used to work at a plant in Rennselaer and so we’ve visited the town on numerous occasions – however, it had been a few years, so I was curious as to what has changed and some of the new things the area had to offer.

Beautiful courthouse in Jasper County, Indiana

Stroll downtown Rensselaer

Just a few hours north of Indianapolis is the cute little town of Rensselaer, located in Jasper County. With a beautiful courthouse and a downtown amid revitalization, it was a perfect start to our afternoon of adventure.

Lunch was a hard choice as there were two terrific-looking restaurants right downtown. We ended up picking Fenwick Farms Brewing Company, mostly because we had heard good things about their beer. Lucky for us, the reviews didn’t lie, we enjoyed a terrific visit. As the sun was shining, we sat outside on the patio enjoying a tasty cocktail, a flight of beers, and siracha chicken tacos. Yum! The prices were reasonable and the atmosphere both inside and outside comfortable and relaxed.

Tasty beers at Fenwick Farms Brewing Company in Rensselear, Indiana

Fenwick Farms Brewing Company, 219 W. Washington St. Rensselear, IN

After filling our tummies, we strolled downtown, popped in a few stores, and then checked out the murals. A few years ago, Rensselaer created the #RenArtWalk showcasing a dozen or so colorful murals around the downtown area. It was fun to look for them and they definitely add to the charm of downtown.

Larger Sea Turtle Mural, one of the many murals on the #RenArtWalk

Just a few blocks from downtown in a small park we discovered a Scarecrow Trail. Local businesses had created themed scarecrows to showcase their business and creativity. We took tons of pictures and soaked up the sunshine.

Scarecrow Trail in Rensselear, IN

Amazing Nature in Action

Hopping back into the car, we headed north to the Jasper-Pulaski Wildlife Refuge. After about a half-hour drive (including a gravel road!), we pulled into the Sandhill Crane Observation Tower parking lot.

Sandhill Crane observation tower sign

Every year, thousands (up to 20K) of Sandhill Cranes stop in this area to rest as they migrate from Wisconsin/Michigan to Florida. Starting in early October through the end of November you can stop to check them out. They are large and noisy birds, so it’s definitely something to see and hear!

We saw several thousand and decided that we’d be bringing the kids back in a few weeks when the numbers have increased. To get a feel for how many will be there, the DNR site reports a number each week. It’s looking like the largest amount this year will be in about 2-3 weeks.

Jasper Pulaski Fish & Wildlife Area, 5822 Fish and Wildlife Ln. Medaryville, IN

Relax with a glass of wine

It was time to head home, but we did detour for one last stop at Carpenter Creek Cellars. I’m always a sucker for a local winery and this one didn’t disappoint. Ed (one of the owners) walked us through a tasting of a variety of their wines, sharing quite a bit of information as to how they were made, grapes used and other interesting tidbits as we enjoyed each one.

Yummy wines at Carpenter Creek Cellars in Jasper County, Indiana

The winery has been there since 2013 and is easily accessible from I-65 (so a perfect stop if you are heading to Chicago from Indy). In addition to a cozy tasting room, there are several lovely outdoor seating areas, so after our tasting, we selected a glass of wine to enjoy and headed to the upstairs deck to enjoy the sun and reminisce over our day of adventure.

Carpenter Creek Cellars, 11144 Jordan Rd. Remington, IN

Where to stay in Jasper County Indiana

If you do decide to stay overnight in the area, your best bet would be the Holiday Inn & Suites in Remington, IN. It’s the newest property in the area, clean, conveniently located and has excellent reviews.

Map of Attractions in Jasper County Indiana

FAQs: Things to Do in Jasper County Indiana

What is Jasper County Indiana known for?

The sandhill cranes that use the area as a resting spot on their annual migrations.

Where is Jasper County Indiana?

North of Indianapolis along I-65 on the way to Chicago

As our day in Jasper County, Indiana, wrapped up, it became clear that this place is a hidden gem for families looking for an adventure or a peaceful getaway.

From the bustling streets of downtown Rensselaer with its vibrant murals and delicious eats at Fenwick Farms Brewing Company to the natural spectacle of the Sandhill Cranes at Jasper-Pulaski Wildlife Refuge, and finally, winding down at Carpenter Creek Cellars, there’s something for everyone in this quaint corner of the Midwest.

It always amazes me how much there is to do in even the most remote areas of the state – exactly why I am pursuing my goal of finding fun in every county in Indiana!

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Ready for an exciting day in Jasper County, Indiana? On this perfect day trip from Indy, you'll discover sandhill cranes migrating, taste delicious beer & wine and marvel at the #RenArtWalk.  #localtravel #midwestgetaway #midwestfun
Ready for an exciting day in Jasper County, Indiana? On this perfect day trip from Indy, you'll discover sandhill cranes migrating, taste delicious beer & wine and marvel at the #RenArtWalk.  #localtravel #midwestgetaway #midwestfun