Goshen News, Goshen, IN

October 21, 2013

LaGrange County fall color tour underway

Goshen News

---- — LAGRANGE — Leaves are turning an array of colors, which means it’s time to stop and look at this annual spectacle.

LaGrange County Parks officials are inviting the public to tour the county to see some of these colorful sites.

Parks officials recommend starting the tour at the LaGrange County Courthouse, which is just north of the junction of Ind. 9 and U.S. 20.

The tour starts along an old Indian trail and travels through farm country. Some of the sites to see along the trail include:

• David Rogers Memorial Park, 2355 W. 550 South.

Rogers Park is LaGrange County’s first county park. It has the grave and memorial to Dr. David Rogers, a pioneer herb doctor, land speculator and philanthropist. The pioneer log houses were all relocated to this site to honor Dr. Rogers and the other pioneers of the early and mid-1800s.

• Delt Church Park, 6455 S. 200 West.

There is a hardwood forest, prairie planting, Little Elkhart River and the MegaTower Playground.

This quarter of the county is primarily family farms and wood lots. Forests are made up maples, oaks, black walnut and wild black cherry, parks officials said. Black walnut is very important economically for the annual nut harvest, while walnut and wild cherry lumber are heavily used in local furniture industry, according to park officials.

• The Emma Store at C.R. 600 West. They have ice cream, pies and more in the old diner.

• Pine Knob County Park, 2825 E. Ind. 120.

Pine Knob features Meteer Lake with public access, oak hickory woods, prairie savanna, and a 1.7 mile archery course with 3-D animal targets.

• Pigeon River Fish & Wildlife Area has 13,000 acres of wildlife habitat.

It is managed for white-tailed deer, wild turkey, and waterfowl. Pigeon River F&WA is also home to many songbirds, wildflowers, and rare habitats. Pigeon River is funded through the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act.

• Cline Lake and the Cline Lake fen, a rare wetland type found in LaGrange County.

• Maple Wood Nature Center, 4550 E. 100 South. Maple Wood is the headquarters of park environmental education programs and is best known for its maple syrup operation during early spring. Maple is open Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sunday afternoons.

• A large bison operation, 500 East at 600 South.

• Indian Lakes Chain, five lakes are interconnected and allow boaters access any of them through the others.

• Dallas Lake County Park, 0505 W. 700 South. This is the headquarters of LaGrange County Parks and is home to shoreline of Dallas Lake, Pond Lil wetlands, many watchable wildlife species.

• Oliver Lake, at 050 East.

• Olin Lake nature preserve.

Bald eagles have returned nesting in LaGrange County for the past two years and Olin Lake is the site, the largest undeveloped lake in Indiana.

Navigate by the numbers

LaGrange County roads are numbered in relation to the county seat, LaGrange. They are about a mile apart and numbered as if they were a two point decimal. Therefore an east-west road that is four miles south of the county seat is 400 South, a north-south road that is 8.5 miles west of LaGrange is 850 West. Property numbers are a three point decimal in relation to how far away from the center they occur. A house five and one eighth mile north of center on 300 West is 5125 N. 300 West.

Typical autumn tree colors

• Brown — oak and hickory

• Purple — white oak and ash

• Bright yellow — sugar maple and tulip poplar

• Pale yellow — basswood, mulberry and silver maple

• Orange — sugar maple and sassafras

• Red — red maple, silver maple and dogwood,

For more information on the tour route, go online to lagrangecountyparks.org.

To go on an alternate tour, call the Barn Quilt Trail, find directions online at http://www.amishbackroads.org/things-to-do/barn-quilt-trail.