BY NICK ROGERS
From historical events and culinary delights to beautiful parks and trails, Boone County offers enjoyable activities for everyone.
Founded in 1830 and named for legendary frontiersman Daniel Boone, the county is the site of Indiana’s first Rural Electric Membership Corporation. Today, it’s a day-trip destination from Indianapolis and surrounding counties.
In Zionsville, you can view live animals in the Zion Nature Center, recall Depression-era history at the Maplelawn Farmstead, and breeze into the Antique Fan Museum, whose 2,000-plus collection dates back to the 19th century.
Further on up the road, Lebanon boasts Indiana’s second-largest dome, atop the county courthouse. There’s no better time than summer to gaze upon sunlight spilling through its beautiful stained-glass rotunda. Headed out in the evening? Hit Mechanicsburg’s M.E.L.S. at the Starlite Drive-In Theatre. Since 1946, it’s been screening double features under starry skies.
Fall visitors can enjoy Lebanon’s late-September reenactment of Civil War battles and President Abraham Lincoln’s 1861 visit en route to Washington, D.C.; the early-September Zionsville Fall Festival; or Dull’s Tree Farm in Thorntown to pick pumpkins and walk a corn maze.
Whenever or wherever you travel, good eats await. In Lebanon, there’s Donaldson’s Finer Chocolates and Titus Bakery (whose maple-iced, cinnamon-infused Pershing donut is a must). Zionsville is home to Traders Point Creamery (Indiana’s first certified-organic dairy farm) and a Bub’s Burgers location, where finishing a one-pound Big Ugly gets your picture on the wall … if fortune and digestive fortitude favor you.
And if you need to shed calories afterward, Boone County’s got you covered with more than a dozen parks and trails, including the 80-acre Starkey Nature Park, the Big-4 Rail Trail (connected to a 20-mile network of paved pathways), and Creekside Nature Park, doubling as a kayak / canoe launch point onto Eagle Creek.
Named for:Daniel Boone
Population: 68,875 (2017)
County seat: Lebanon
Noted for:Boone County Courthouse Dome, Zionsville Fall Festival, Starkey Nature Park, Antique Fan Museum
Freelance writer NICK ROGERS is a communications manager for Purdue Agricultural Communications.