A Great Day Out in Indiana: France Park, Logansport

I love hiking and sight-seeing outdoors. After eight months in Hanoi, where “the outdoors” meant drinking coffee on a busy street corner while motorbikes zoomed by and I secretly prayed for the sun to just please come back, “I haven’t seen sunshine in weeks,” I was pretty thrilled to be back in the cornfields, forests, and national parks of Indiana.

One of my favorite parks to kick back in on a hot summer’s day is France Park in Logansport, Indiana. This place wins my vote for favorite local park because for such a small space, it’s got a ton to do.

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France Park has an old quarry with a great story. Apparently one day while drilling, the workers hit an underground spring. Everyone managed to get out safely, but the water filled the quarry so fast, they didn’t have time to get their equipment out. You can go swimming in the quarry, but some areas are blocked off because supposedly an old crane, some train cars, and tracks are still down there. I’ve never seen them, but if you get up on the cliff side in the back and look down on a clear day, the old quarry equipment is apparently still visible.

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So what’s so great about France Park?  Well, first off, you’ve got the swimming. I’m not sure what time the lifeguards arrive, but we were there early, so no one else was there. The quarry water is clear and clean usually. It’s also freezing and with the little man-made beach, France Park’s quarry is just begging to be swum in on a hot day. Watch out for the fishes though! They aren’t shy, and I had one bite my finger once, while I was wiggling it pretending to be a worm, but still. Yikes!

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There are also the trails that lead to the cliffs at the back of the quarry. My boyfriend lost his shirt and found two dollars on our hike.

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At the top of the cliffs there is a sign for these guys.

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Paddlefish! You can see these huge, bizarre-looking fish clearly from the trails. I tried to take a photo, but they didn’t show up on camera. In my book, France Park is worth a visit just to see these weird, rare fish wobbling about in the water like dinosaurs. Although after you see them, even though they aren’t dangerous, you will think carefully before getting in for a swim.

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At the edge of the cliffs there is also a zip line. I’ve never actually seen the thing running, but I’m sure you could call the park to find out what times it’s open.

The last thing to do at France Park is check out the waterfalls.

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How gorgeous are they? And I know a nutcase that says swimming in them is really fun.

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If you want to have a fun afternoon hiking trails, swimming in quarries, and gawking at paddlefish, check out France Park. You can get more information on the park here.

And if anyone has got any other good Indiana nature recommendations, let me know! I’m always on the hunt for more fun in the sun.

~*~

If you want to check out another fun activity in Indiana, look here to learn about the Tippecanoe County Flea Market.

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