2017 Lafayette-West Lafayette Recreation Guides are here!

It’s summer! Its time to head outdoors and start your next adventure! Our new 2017 Lafayette-West Lafayette Recreation Guides have arrived! Get out and explore our great parks, trails, sporting facilities and more.

Request a brochure here: http://www.homeofpurdue.com/contact/brochurerequest.html or view our online flipbook here: https://issuu.com/lwlcvb/docs/2017recreationguide.

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Explore the Wabash & Erie Canal


Canal Boat Ride

Happening Now! The summer season has arrived when the canal boat is floating down the Wabash and Erie Canal in Delphi, Indiana! Experience history, adventure and pure summer fun at the Wabash and Erie Canal Interpretive Center this year. This attraction, 20 minutes north east of Lafayette-West Lafayette, offers an adventure for the whole family.

Canal Christmas festival crafts n kidsI remember my first visit to the Wabash and Erie Canal Interpretive Center. It was one of awe that such a wonderful museum was created 100% from volunteer efforts from such a small community. The passion to conserve the history of this transportation system and to create a whole village built around it is amazing. The museum offers visitors a chance to learn the history of how the Wabash and Erie Canal was important to our country’s transportation system. Now, you may think, this sounds boring! But believe me it is not! Throughout the whole museum, there are interactive displays for people to enjoy. Many museums have the policy “hands-off”, but this center welcomes people to be a part of the experience. Visitors (especially children) are welcome to play checkers in the recreated indoor canal boat, try on pioneer village clothing and pretend to be living in the 1800s, and play with a recreated canal that demonstrates how a boat would traverse the lock system.

Ring the School bell (2014)Not only does this center have an indoor museum, but a canal boat to ride through a portion of the original Wabash and Erie Canal and a whole pioneer village to explore. Visitors can walk into an original Log School House from the 1800s where students learned their ABC’s.  One does not want to miss a tour of the Reed Case’s (contractor for the Carroll County section of the Wabash & Erie Canal) own Federal-style home which anchors the village, complete with period furnishings, many of which came from the Case family. And what is better on a beautiful summer day than a trip on a replica canal boat down the canal? Nothing!

Trails, canal boat ride, museum and more!

Trails, canal boat ride, museum and more!

There is a 10 mile trail system, perfect for hiking, biking, bird-watching and even cross-country skiing. Some trails and roads in Canal Park were once the towpath traversed by mules and horses pulling canal boats. Several sites along the way are on the National Register, including the Canal Construction Camp site, Lock #33 and the adjacent lockkeeper’s home site, and the 1857 Harley and Hubbard Lime Kiln site.

A host of events take place at the Wabash and Erie Canal all year long.  These include the Historic Canal Days Festival, the Harvest of Quilts “Quilt Show” and Christmas at the Canal. Check out http://www.wabashanderiecanal.org for more information about these special events.

Tugging the Pull Me Boat

Tugging the Pull Me Boat

Whether you are looking for delicious dining, interesting attractions and shops, enticing events or home away from home lodging—a getaway to Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana, is sure to satisfy. For more information about this attraction and others in the area, visit our website at www.HomeOfPurdue.com

Canoeing the Wildcat

CFJ4867 Be adventurous this Memorial Day weekend and head to Wildcat Creek to canoe or kayak this scenic Indiana river. Gather a group of friends, embark on the great outdoors and have a little fun!

Wildcat Canoe and Kayak Too allows you to paddle down the Wildcat Creek for a perfect day with friends or family. It’s a great way to get some fresh air and see all of the beautiful wildlife like herons, owls, turtles, kingfishers, deer, and more!

Paddle photoThere are multiple trips to choose from. There is a 2-hour trip, a 4-hour trip, and a 6-hour trip. All trips consist of a shuttle to one of three put-in points, then a float back to the parking lot. Departure times are every two hours starting at 8:00am and ending at 4:00pm. The 4:00pm departure time is for a 2-hour trip only.

They are located at County Road 725 East, Lafayette, IN, south of the bridge over the creek, and west of the Wildcat itself. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling (765) 589-8081.

Have some fun water adventure this weekend! For more information about this attraction and more in Lafayette-West Lafayette, visit HomeOfPurdue.com. This blog was shared by Purdue University Alumna, Amanda.

Explore 12 Wines at Wildcat Creek Winery

1795273_10153866411420657_1352393617_oNeed a gift to take to a party, looking for that great wine for your dinner table, or just enjoy wine? Check out the Wildcat Creek Winery in Lafayette!

Currently Wildcat Creek Winery features 12 different wines, many of which are award winning. My favorites are the Traminette and the Aunt Minnie’s Cherry Tree. Traminette is the Indiana State wine and you will find many varieties as you visit wineries throughout Indiana. It’s very light and fruity, great for a spring or summer day outside. Very refreshing. Aunt Minnie’s Cherry Tree is like Cherry Pie in a glass! Great to enjoy in small quantities, but my favorite way to enjoy it is with a side of brownies. Or even better, use it instead of the water in a boxed brownie mix for cherry brownies!

1012041_10153809622250122_533322413_nWhen visiting the winery, step up to their beautiful wood bar and enjoy a sample in their tasting room. Purchase a bottle or a glass to enjoy in their sun-room or on the grounds and then be sure to purchase some to take home. The winery also offers a variety of other gift items, many locally made. When you are done at the winery or maybe before, make an afternoon or day of it and be sure to go around the corner to spend some time exploring Clegg Memorial Garden. It makes for a relaxing afternoon adventure.

Also, don’t miss their BBQ, Bluegrass, & Blueberry Wine this Saturday, May 20! Enjoy their Wine Garden and food by D&R Market. Listen to music by Branded Bluegrass, Scott Evan Freeman, and Trabeler’s Dream. Get ready for great wine, great food, great music and lots of sunshine to start your summer off in style!


Ashley Gregory, Director of Sales, shares this blog.  For more information about this winery and other attractions in Lafayette-West Lafayette, visit www.HomeOfPurdue.com.


Bike to Work May 19!

Bike to work!

Bike to work!

It’s spring! The warm weather is officially upon us, which means it’s a great time to get outside and exercise. May 19th is National Bike to Work Day, but don’t worry if you can’t bike to work because there are a ton of great bike trails in the area and are listed below!

  • The Wabash Heritage Trail runs around the downtown areas and for several miles Bike to work 2007.28JPGalong the Wabash River and is a great trail to see the beautiful sites around town.
  • There is another great trail that runs from the Purdue campus, past the Celery Bog and Wal-Mart, and then connects to the Northwest Greenway Trail, which has its own multiple branches.
  • The Amphitheater Multi-Use Trail is the easiest trail in the Lafayette area. It is a 3.5-mile ride with a few splits before hitting a turnaround to head back.
  • The Haan Mountain Bike Trail is a 7-mile ride that is in two sections – State Street and Valley Street. This is a public trail but is on private land near downtown Lafayette and requires a liability form.
  • McCormick Woods Multi-Use Trail is a 3.5-mile ride in two loops. It’s mostly a flat trail but does have some elevation changes and turns to make it a fun and interesting ride.
  • Murdock Park Multi-Use Trail is a 3-mile loop trail. This trail is popular among advanced riders seeking a challenging ride.

    Bike or walk this trail at Prophetstown State Park!

    Bike or walk this trail at Prophetstown State Park!

  • Prophetstown State Park is also another great place to get some fresh air. It has 3.5-miles of paved trails that highlight the beauty of the area. Its great for biking and also walking.

More more information on bike trails, visit Lafayette-West Lafayette website, HomeOfPurdue.com.


Picnics, Baseball, Zoo, Train & More: Columbian Park

IMG_1433Picnicking, playgrounds, aquatic center, baseball, zoo, ducks, train, and more! What do these things have in common? They can all be found at Columbian Park!

I have a lot of wonderful memories at Columbian Park from throughout the years. My Grandparents lived just one block from the Park and my family and I would always spend many days each year visiting. My Father and Grandfather grew up in that same house and I always enjoyed hearing the stories of their memories and shenanigans at the park as well! While the park has changed quite a bit, even in my life time, it continues to offer a variety of wonderful activities for families with kids of all ages. Let me tell you a bit about it…

Let’s start at the playground. Along Park Avenue there is a very large playground with different areas for different aged kids to play. Babies to Teenagers all have a section on the same playground that is suitable for their age group. There is also a section that has accessible friendly equipment for those children with disabilities to also play. Near the playground are several picnic shelters that can be reserved for family reunions or get togethers, birthday parties, graduation parties, or just because. If the shelter doesn’t have a reservation posted, feel free to just go up and use them at any time. To reserve a shelter, contact the Lafayette Parks and Recreation Department.

Playground fun!

Playground fun!

Rush Pavillion

Rush Pavillion

Also, housed at the park, are other rental facilities; Jenk’s Rest, which is also a Senior Center, the Rush Pavilion and Memorial Island. We had a family reunion recently at Jenk’s Rest and it was a wonderful venue, big enough for our large family, had a large kitchen for us to spread out our carry in items, and centrally located to the playground for the kids to enjoy while the adults chatted. The Rush Pavilion is also where my best friend had her wedding and wedding reception. This was a very small wedding with about 40 guests and it made for a beautiful, casual wedding. The veranda is great to sit and chat while watching the ducks and geese on the lagoon and inside is simple but classy and has a nice sized kitchen area. It worked wonderfully for her wedding. Memorial Island is sometimes home to movies or concerts in the park in the summer time and has memorials dedicated to those in different wars.

The Zoo!

The Zoo!

Seasonal attractions at the Park also include the Columbian Park Zoo, Tropicanoe Cove, Loeb Stadium, Train and other rides. The Columbian Park Zoo is a free zoo that is typically open April to October every year. It offers wonderful, interactive exhibits themed by different continents and attractions. You can check your wing span while you admire the Bald Eagles, imagine swimming with the North American River Otter, crawl through tunnels and pop up like a Prairie Dog, explore the Wallaby walkabout and have the wallaby’s hop right across your path and more! Exhibit areas include the Americas, Australia, Butterfly Garden, Family Farm (Petting Zoo), a fountain plaza and the historic animal house.  Things are always being added at the zoo, so be sure to check it out often.

Tropicanoe Cove is the outdoor aquatic center along the Main Street side of the park. It is typically open Memorial Day to Labor Day and offers a lazy river, water slides, splash pad and a swimming area. Adults can also enjoy water walking programs several times a week in the summer, during off times.Tropicanoe Cove

Loeb Stadium is home to the Lafayette Aviators, a prospect league and the annual Colt World Series event. Be sure to add at least one game to your summer bucket list! The current stadium allows you to feel like you are right on the field with the players. You’ll love it!

Train at Columbian Park

Train at Columbian Park

In the center of the park also generally from Memorial Day to Labor Day you can find a small variety of children’s rides. My family’s all-time favorite is the train. Ride around the park and wave at all the visitors. Relatively new to the park is a train depot that also includes a model train exhibit. Great to keep the kids (of all ages) entertained while you wait to ride the train.

Of course, no visit to Columbian Park would be complete without visiting at least one of the local icons located across Wallace Street from the Zoo and Loeb Stadium; The Original Frozen Custard or Arni’s! Be sure to grab a pizza, salad, custard cone or fruit drink to bring with you to the park and enjoy a day full of fun!

Ashley Gregory, Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette Director of Sales, shares this blog.  For more information about this attraction and more in Lafayette-West Lafayette, visit www.HomeOfPurdue.com.

Re-Awakening of Spring- Bennett’s & Koehler Brothers Nursery



Every spring is like a re-awakening of beauty! Flowers are blooming, the grass is turning green and people are getting outdoors to embrace the warmth after a cold winter.  This spring we are celebrating by visiting two lovely nurseries that have beautiful fresh flowers and expert botanists to help answer any questions you have. Whether you have a green thumb or not, a visit to these businesses, is like walking in a spring flower wonderland!

Shopping at Bennett's

Shopping at Bennett’s

  • Bennett’s has operated as a family horticultural business in the Greater Lafayette Area for over 100 years. The company was founded between 1870 and 1880 by William Bennett and his son and is currently operated by the sixth Bennett’s generation. An active nursery on 17 acres at the corner of McCarty and Creasy Lanes in Lafayette, Bennett’s can provide you with quality and selection in its large retail nursery, unparalleled garden center or in its full-service greenhouse and floral areas. Have any landscaping questions? All Bennett’s employees have been fully trained and can assist with questions about growing, design, etc. (Bennett’s is open 7 days a week.)

    Springtime at Bennett's

    Springtime at Bennett’s

  • Koehler Brothers Nursery is located in Dayton, Indiana, and offers a complete garden center and nursery. Professional landscape and design services are provided. Koehler Bros. is a landscape business that also is eccentric as they have a museum of art and purchasable antiques on their grounds. A general store, called Delphine’s, is located on the grounds and is owned by a local couple who sell antiques, rare finds and nostalgia. (Koehler Brothers and Delphine’s is open 7 days a week.)

    An alligator is alive at Koehler Brothers!

    An alligator is alive at Koehler Brothers!

This spring, get out and brighten your life with flowers!  For more information about Lafayette-West Lafayette businesses, please visit HomeOfPurdue.com.


Camping Season is Here!

AOK Campgroun

AOK Campground

2 Great Cities, 1 Great University, so many great camping facilities!  Did you know Lafayette-West Lafayette is home to 6 different campgrounds?   It is officially springtime in Indiana and that means to get out your camping gear and head to one of these campgrounds to enjoy the beauty of Lafayette-West Lafayette.

  • Big Fish ‘n Campground – this campground features 70 sites with unlimited overflow.  Amenities include disposal, electricity, firewood, fishing, fishing supplies, picnic areas, primitive areas, restrooms, showers, and swimming.
  • Kendo Lake – this campground features 60 sites with unlimited overflow. Amenities include recreation, concessions, disposal, electricity, firewood, fishing, fishing supplies, picnic areas, primitive areas, restrooms, and swimming.
  • Lafayette AOK Campground – this campground features 125 sites.  Amenities include recreation, concessions, disposal, electricity, firewood, picnic areas, primitive areas, restrooms, and showers.
  • Prophetstown State Park – this campground features 110 sites. Amenities include recreation, disposal, electricity, picnic areas, restrooms, and showers.
  • Ross Camp – this campground features 15 modern & 4 primitive sites.  Amenities include recreation, disposal, electricity, fishing, picnic areas, primitive areas, restrooms, and showers.
  • Wolfe’s Leisure Time Campground – this campground features 130 sites.  Amenities include recreation, concessions, disposal, electricity, fishing, picnic areas, primitive areas, restrooms, showers, and Wi-Fi.
The beauty of Prophetstown!

The beauty of Prophetstown!

Each of our campgrounds is open all year long and many are located near a body of water.  Are you headed out this spring to take in the warmer weather?  If so, share with us your favorite campground and what makes it so special.

Our campgrounds are not to be missed on your next visit to our area. For more information about these sites and more in Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana, visit our website at www.HomeOfPurdue.com

It’s Patio Time, Head Outdoors!

Digby's Patio

Digby’s Patio

It’s that time of year again, patio time!  Spring is here and outdoor patios are coming alive with laughter and fun times.  Check out Lafayette-West Lafayette’s unique patio locations.

  • Digby’s: Enjoy the amazing view of our beautiful courthouse while feasting on Velveeta loaded french fries, duck egg roles, wings and more!
  • La Scala: Their motto is “Fresh Farm Food From Our Farm and Other Local Farms. Taste the Difference,” and this is exactly what you will get when you visit. Enjoy farm fresh food in their beautiful outdoor patio overlooking the courthouse.

    Enjoy La Scala's Fresh Food and Outdoor Dining!

    Enjoy La Scala’s Fresh Food and Outdoor Dining!

  • Nine Irish Brothers: A gathering place of friends and co-workers, family and teammates, and visitors alike, who can sit back, enjoy a pint of Guinness and eat traditional Irish fare. Do not miss their large outdoor patios at both their Lafayette and West Lafayette locations.
  • Red Seven: Sit and admire views of both the courthouse and Riehle Plaza at this hip and trendy restaurant downtown Lafayette. Red Seven not only serves exceptional food, but the customer service is friendly and knowledgeable.
  • Scotty’s Brewhouse: Enjoy their outdoor patio in Wabash Landing as you devour everything from burgers (made a million different ways!) to salads to wonderful homemade soups.
  • Sgt. Preston’s: Pass through an old canal dock as you enter Preston’s extensive outdoor patio and enjoy your food and drink during a beautiful day. Live music is a regular occurrence on Saturday nights. During the summer months, Preston’s is open on Sundays and features a fun atmosphere with outdoor games.

    Sgt. Preston's Patio

    Sgt. Preston’s Patio

  • Town & Gown: Flowers galore can be found in this beautifully landscaped outdoor patio. Smell the fresh flowers as you feast on light and fluffy pancakes, rich and flavorful biscuits and gravy, and decadent cocktails.

For more information about restaurants and more in Lafayette-West Lafayette, visit HomeOfPurdue.com.

Explore Celery Bog This Spring

Celery Bog ChapmanSpring is finally here, and I can honestly say that I’m not looking back! As a student, you learn to appreciate even a slight increase of temperature as you walk from class-to-class nearly every day. The winter has given me a bad case of cabin fever and bitterness towards Mother Nature, but the change of seasons has left me with spring fever, and I now look forward to the adventures this spring will bring!

James Chapman - Celery BogOne of my first stops this spring will be a trip to the beautiful Celery Bog located in West Lafayette. It’s just a hop and skip away from my neighborhood, and I enjoy walking the paths that lead to the park as well as the actual park trails themself. The warmer the weather, the more I find myself more dedicated to go out for physical activity. The Celery Bog is hands-down one of my favorite locations in all of Lafayette-West Lafayette to go on a nice, refreshing run. There are numerous trails to choose from with stunning scenic views. Around every winding corner is a breath of fresh air and nature scenes. Looking for a time of relaxation? The Celery Bog offers tranquil atmospheres to those who need more leisure in their life. Along the trails, you can find frequent benches to take a seat and soak it all in. I even recommend bringing a book on a nice day. Keep your eye out for the cute and welcoming wildlife that resides within the bog’s woodlands such as adorable squirrels, rabbits, birds, and more!

IMG_7400Speaking of animals, the Celery Bog is an excellent park to bring your furry four-legged friends! Although it sounds funny to most, I often take my precious cat, Simba, for walks throughout the trails. I am not ashamed to admit that I am one of those “crazy cat ladies!” Ever since Simba was a kitten, I’ve taken him outside so he doesn’t learn to fear the outdoors. With a name such as “Simba,” he must live up to his exotic title after all (or so I tell myself)! I often see many other pet owners walking their dogs throughout the beautiful landscape, but I have yet to see another cat. I encourage all animal owners to bring their furry companions for an energizing day outdoors this spring!

SONY DSCThe Celery Bog is also a great place to bring the whole family! Bring a blanket for a lovely picnic in the open landscape featured by the parking lot or throw a football or Frisbee for a fun game that gets you out and moving! The Celery Bog also hosts a variety of events and workshops in their Lilly Nature Center to educate those of all ages about nature-like topics such as birds, bugs, geology, nature photography, and so much more!  Keep your eye on our online calendar of events for upcoming workshops and educational opportunities held at Lilly Nature Center.

IMG_7402The winter is finally behind us, and we get to look forward to brighter days. Break out of the cabin fever mentality and look for ways to spend your free time outdoors. It seems like it has been far too long since I’ve been able to enjoy the weather. I hope to see many of you at the Celery Bog! Cat lovers: start bringing your cats! Simba needs to make some friends. Enjoy the weather everyone!

For more information about this park and others in Lafayette-West Lafayette, visit HomeOfPurdue.com.

Kaley, Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette Visitor Information Specialist and Purdue University Graduate, shared this blog.