A warm fall trip with the windows down, the sun shining, and the yellow leaves still hanging on before falling is such an enjoyable trip. Take the time, make the time, and observe along the way.  

We wandered in the Grant/Miami/Wabash County area near Mississinewa Reservoir one warm fall afternoon. We enjoyed the weather and small-town charm. As we drove into Swayzee, I remembered several things I had read about this charming Town. We parked at Walter Young West Park and walked around the park’s perimeter on a short paved trail. We spent a little time swinging at the playground, and I spent time solving my curiosity through research. Swayzee played Liberty Center in high school basketball in the Marion Regional in 1964, and the game went into overtime over and over again—nine times, to be exact. I knew I had read something about that in the past. Curiosity solved. While hiking, we also figured out the OH on the ball field scoreboard. (Swayzee is also the only Town named this in the world). 

OH was puzzling to me, not being from the area. Again, my curiosity got me looking up info on the internet. OH is Oak Hill, and then it resonated. Now, I really started researching. My first thought was Monte Towe. I remember him from my childhood being a very good basketball player from nowhere Indiana, going to division one basketball (North Carolina State) and onto the NBA as one of the shortest (and I would guess most ferocious) players ever. So Oak Hill is a consolidation high school in Mier, which includes Swayzee, Sweetser, and Converse – all really pleasant communities to visit. Sweetser and Converse are connected by a rails-to-trails pathway, which is the northern end of the Cardinal Greenway 

Lagro is a small community located east of Wabash along the Wabash River. There is a nice trail connecting the two communities. There are remnants of the Wabash and Erie Canal as well. Hanging Rock National Natural Landmark is located east of Town. A short hike will allow you to climb this interesting geologic feature. We also hiked to Kissing Falls at Salamonie River State Recreation Area and into the Kokiwanee ACRES Land Trust Nature Preserve. The State Forest is also located in the general vicinity. There are many options for hiking and enjoying nature.  

In Huntington, we discovered the Sunken Gardens in Memorial Park. The Gardens were a totally unexpected find along our route. This unique park is a reuse of a former quarry that was created into a beautiful park with paths, bridges, gardens, and a pond. Huntington was home to many lime kilns, and this history is still found within the community. The J. Edward Roush Lake sits southeast of the city. This body of water is on the Wabash River and has many recreation opportunities.  

Ouabache State Park has much to offer. Located along the Wabash River southeast of Blufton, the park and city are connected by a nice trail that follows the river. Bring your bikes and take a ride. We enjoyed hiking the trail around the bison enclosure. You also need to climb the fire tower and take in the panoramic views.  

Below are several other places that I didn’t share about. Check them out and enjoy! – Wabash Honeywell Center, Vincennes and all of the history, White Oak State Fishing Area, Greene-Sullivan State Forest, Redbird State Recreation Area, Shakamak State Park, Tippecanoe River State Park, Indiana Dunes State and National Park, Moraine and Stoutsburg Nature Preserves, and Gabis Arboretum. 

~ Jeff Banning