Explore the Wabash & Erie Canal

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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

Weekend Update: Purdue Half Marathon & Grand Celebration Ball

1PurdueMarathonDSchmidt2014Weekend Update! Looking for a fun Indiana weekend getaway? Or do you live in this area and are looking for entertainment close by? Check out the endless possibilities for fun events happening this upcoming weekend in or near Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana.

Welcome Purdue Marathoners!!  The fourth annual Purdue Boilermaker Half-Marathon and 5K will take place this Saturday, October 17. Each year this event has drawn more than 2,200 participants and many more are expected this year! The races will start at the home of Purdue Boilermaker football, Ross-Ade stadium, and meanders through the Purdue campus and the cities of West Lafayette and Lafayette. The course will highlight many of the more popular sites among these two cities in addition to the Purdue campus. This will be a great opportunity for Purdue alumni, students and Purdue sports fans to participate in a half marathon and 5k race on the Purdue campus! Good luck!

Delphi Opera House

Delphi Opera House

Nearby in Delphi, Indiana, do not miss the Grand Celebration Ball at the Delphi Opera House. This is an opportunity to not only attend a ball decked out in beautiful attire, but check out the beautifully restored opera house!  The Grand Celebration Ball will recreate an 1865 ball honoring returning Civil War soldiers and will celebrate the reopening of the newly renovated Delphi Opera House. Period or formal attire required. The event will include period music, dance, and dinner, etiquette instruction, moonlight carriage rides through historic Delphi neighborhoods, cash bar and more.

For more information about these events and other special “happenings” in Lafayette-West Lafayette, check out our website at www.HomeOfPurdue.com.

Delphi: Home to Wabash & Erie Canal & the Indiana Bacon Festival

3IMG_8111Down the river and through the woods, a hidden treasure is found just outside our county. This treasure is the historic Wabash & Erie Canal, the largest man-made waterway in the United States. Breathtaking views, winding trails, living history, and passionate people all make up one’s experience at the canal.

As a student at Purdue, I moved to this area with little knowledge of the history and excitement that this place holds; however, I learn more and more each day. My favorite part of experiencing all of these new things is getting to share the fun with others. After my first unforgettable trip to the canal, I knew I had to spread the word of this amazing attraction. My parents traveled up from Southern Indiana, and I planned a whole day for us in the quaint town of Delphi.

DSC00877Our first stop was to the Wabash & Erie Canal Interpretive Center. The architecture is designed to make guests feel as if they are stepping back in time to the mid to late 1800’s era. Once inside, the volunteers working within the museum greet the guests. Although volunteer-based, the effort and hospitality these workers put in are priceless. Each and every one of the volunteers is extremely passionate about the land and history, and it shines through their work. In fact, the Wabash & Erie Canal Interpretive Center was voted the Best New Volunteer Driven Museum in the United States in 2006 by the American Association of State and Local History! The museum is a self-guided walk through with exquisite displays, plentiful information and artifacts, and many interactive stations for kids.  Come and see for yourself how they earned this prestigious recognition! Not only is the Interpretive Center a museum, but it also has excellent event/meeting space. There are two large rooms with windows that look out over the canal and beautiful surrounding land. It is an excellent space for your next event, whether big or small.

Canal Days 2014.4After my parents and I traveled through the museum, we headed out to look through the reconstructed display of what a historic pioneer village would have looked like in that time era. The models featured include: the Reed Case house, Bowen Cabin, Log School House, Kuns Cabin, Speece Shelter, Robinson Smokehouse, Fur Trapper’s Cabin, and VanDerVolgen’s Blacksmith Shop. The village is usually up and running on weekends, festivals, and holidays with performers who will gladly share with you the history behind the village. Each building features historic furnishings and equipment and runs similarly to how it would have during the time of the canal operation.

Next, my parents and I rented a surrey to bike around the renowned Delphi trails. We went around winding corners, under tunnels, and over bridges. The trails follow the canal to beautiful hidden locations not seen by the common eye. Trails also can be followed throughout downtown Delphi or other wooded areas. It was the most fun I’ve had in a long time! Other rentals are available such as paddleboats and kayaks to use on the canal as well as regular bicycles for the trails. Each rental comes with complimentary trail maps and safety equipment.1IMG_8120

2IMG_8109Finally, the newest addition to the canal is a ride on the replica 19th century canal boat, The Delphi. Step onto the boat to experience what an adventure down the canal would have felt like 150 years ago. The 35-minute ride includes a tour guide who speaks of how everyday life was on the Wabash & Erie Canal.

As you can see, there is so much to do all in one area! My family and I had an amazing time, and I encourage everyone to make a trip out to Delphi. It is very worthwhile. My next trip to Delphi will be on August 29 for the Indiana Bacon Festival! Bacon is one of my favorite foods, so it only makes sense to attend an entire festival for it! Hosted on the square in Delphi, the event will consist of Indiana Kitchen Bacon, local brews, live music, a bacon eating contest, a cook-off, and so much more! Last year was the first ever debut of the Indiana Bacon Festival, and it was a smashing hit with over 6,000 attendees! Help make this year’s festival even more successful!

Kid's Play Area

Kid’s Play Area

The town of Delphi may by small, but it is jam-packed with history, Hoosier hospitality, and fun for all. Do not overlook it the next time you are traveling through northwest Indiana. It will give you an experience like no other, and I hope to see you all on August 29th at the Indiana Bacon Festival!

Kaley, Visitor Information Specialist for Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette and Purdue University Student, shares this blog.

4th of July Weekend Update!

Fireworks!

Fireworks!

4th of July Weekend Update! Looking for a fun Indiana weekend getaway? Or do you live in this area and are looking for entertainment close by? Check out the endless possibilities for fun events happening this upcoming weekend in Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana.

Fireworks, live music, dancing; all this and more can be found during the Stars & Stripes Celebration on July 4, downtown Lafayette. This annual festive fourth concert features the Lafayette Citizens Band and Indiana All-Star Show Choir followed by fireworks at dusk. The concert will end at approximately 10 p.m. followed by the 25-minute fireworks display which will be launched from the south end of Tapawingo Drive in West Lafayette.

Ride the "Delphi"

Ride the “Delphi”

Head to the Wabash & Erie Canal in Delphi, Indiana for the Canal Days Festival on July 5 & 6. Throughout the weekend, enjoy live artisan demonstrations: tatting/ lace making, blacksmithing, bowl carving, broom making, basket weaving, crocheting/needle arts, and more! Noble Bikes will offer festival special half-hour rates on family paddle boats and pedal surrey rentals. Food and other vendors will also be on hand during the festival, and of course…take a ride on the canal boat, the Delphi, which will be offering rides throughout the weekend!

For more information about these events and other special “happenings” in Lafayette-West Lafayette, check out our website at www.HomeOfPurdue.com.

Take a Boat Ride on the Wabash and Erie Canal!

SONY DSCHappening Now! The spring/summer season has arrived when the canal boat is floating down the Wabash and Erie Canal in Delphi, Indiana! Experience history, adventure and pure spring/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.

I 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.

Canal boat with crew by TawynaNot 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 spring or summer day than a trip on a replica canal boat down the canal? Nothing!

Check out Noble Bikes at the Canal http://www.noblebikes.net/

Check out Noble Bikes at the Canal http://www.noblebikes.net/

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 Transportation Festival, the Canal Days Festival, the End of Season Festival and the Old Fashioned Christmas.  Check out http://www.wabashanderiecanal.org for more information these special events.

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