Summer is free and easy in the Mississinewa River Valley in East Central Indiana. The Mississinewa River is a swift flowing tributary that visits several friendly communities on its journey to meet the Wabash River about seventy miles due north of Indianapolis. A host of free activities and attractions in the Mississinewa River Valley represent the best of the Midwest for a fun and affordable family get-away.
1. Cardinal Greenway – This Rails to Trails project provides miles of paved walkway for great hiking or biking. Trailheads at Jonesboro, Marion, Sweetser provide safe, easy access.
3. Cumberland Covered Bridge – Built in 1877, this magnificent structure spans the Mississinewa River near Matthews, Ind. A canoe launch and picnic area are located at the bridge to provide an afternoon of fun on the banks or on the water.
4. Garfield Trail – Garfield the Cartoon Cat traces his roots to the Mississinewa River Valley where his creator, Jim Davis, was born and raised. Garfield statues are located in nine communities throughout the area. See if you can find them all!
5. James Dean Exhibit – At 5:45 on September 30, 1955 the world lost movie star James Dean but gained a timeless legend. Fairmount native James Dean made only three movies in his short life: “East of Eden,” “Rebel Without a Cause” and “Giant,” but the mark he made on an entire culture is his true legacy. Tour the home town of James Dean to see exhibits and landmarks of his early life and career.
6. Marion Public Library Museum – The museum in Marion features native American artifacts, exhibits of Victorian era home and industry, early automotive manufacturing, and more.
7. Miami Indiana Cemetery – Located seven miles north of Marion, The Miami Indian Cemetery is the largest Indian cemetery in Indiana. Established in the mid-1800s on the Miami Indian reservation, it is the burial site of Chief Meshingomesia and members of his tribe.
8. Mississinewa Battlefield – The site of the first victory of the U.S. Army during the War of 1812, is located near State Road #15 along the Mississinewa River north of Marion.
9. Mississinewa Lake State Rec. Area – This 14,000-acre recreation site located seven miles southeast of Peru offers excellent fishing, hunting and boating opportunities and 400 site campground and family cabins.
10. Movies in the Park – The town of Jonesboro offers free movies in the community park on select Saturdays throughout the summer.
For additional details and a complete list of events visit ShowMeGrantCounty.com.