Summer’s the perfect time of year to go outside and play, and Wayne County certainly offers plenty of options to consider for al fresco exercise, recreation and fun. This year, why not try something new by checking out some of these fresh-air adventures?
Lace up your hiking boots and beeline over to Richmond’s Hayes Arboretum. This beloved 466-acre nature preserve includes 16 miles of verdant trails to explore across a forested terrain that contains ponds, fields, wetlands, nature center, outdoor playscape and ancient Adena and Hopewell Indian mounds. On the other side of town in Centerville, Cope Environmental Center offers a more leisurely experience with three miles of easy trails to follow and a meditative self-guided labyrinth walk.
Those who prefer to travel on two wheels instead of two feet can borrow a complimentary bike from the Cycling and Fitness Warehouse at the Cardinal Greenway trailhead in the scenic Whitewater Gorge. From there, you can get your fill of pedaling the longest rail-trail in Indiana, running 75 miles from Richmond through Muncie and Gas City all the way up to Marion. For a shorter, but more rugged journey, saddle up your mountain bike to discover the dedicated paths through Hayes Arboretum east side trails. New in 2021 is the City Bike Park with featuring several tracks and accommodates all skill levels.
Richmond’s keeping right in step with all the latest fitness trends. Catch the pickleball craze with a game on one of eight new lighted courts at Clear Creek Park; a friendly facility that also boasts a baseball diamond, dream basketball courts, sensory park & garden, and disc golf.
Glen Miller Park maintains an 18-basket disc golf course that passes through old-growth forest and open green spaces. The spacious iconic park is a one-stop destination for outdoor summer recreation with a fishing pond, a skate park, music garden, street mural, picnic shelters, a playground, tennis courts, public rose garden and a summer splash pad. More traditional duffers can tee up and hit the links at Richmond’s Highland Lake Golf Course, Hartley Hills County Club in Hagerstown or Winding Branch Golf Course in Cambridge City, both accessible for public outings.
Good times for all ages, the Jack Elstro Plaza in downtown Richmond holds a permanent outdoor collection of concrete and wooden games — think chess, checkers, foosball, cornhole and ping pong — for opportunities to “Play in the Plaza.” Game pieces can be borrowed across the street at Morrisson Reeves Library. Even more incentive to visit, food trucks gather here on Wednesdays, and a summers Farmer's Market on Tuesdays & Saturdays through the summer.
Enlist some friends (or enemies) to partake in a spirited paintball session at the Predator Zone northwest of Richmond. Or for something a little more laid-back, set a course for adventure at the beautiful Middlefork Reservoir, where you can rent paddleboats, kayaks, canoes and rowboats to cruise the beautiful 177-acre spring-fed lake.
With so many options to experience the great outdoors, you'll want to turn your visit into an overnight getaway and experience it all! Lodging in Richmond & Wayne County Indiana is filled with choices from hotels, bed and breakfasts, and numerous campgrounds. No matter what your budget or luxury criteria, there’s something for everyone. Start planning and book today!