Northeast Indiana has no shortage of outdoor activities. From Fort Wayne’s three rivers, 86 parks and hundreds of miles of bike paths, there’s plenty to explore. Keep reading for our favorite outdoor adventures in and around Fort Wayne.
Visit a State Park
Northeast Indiana’s State Parks are the best places to go for hiking, observing wildlife, camping and more!
Located near Angola, Pokagen is one of Indiana’s original state parks. With activities for every season, the park is a hot spot all year long. This summer head to Pokagen to enjoy its scenic hiking trails, boat rentals, fishing, horse riding and beautiful sunset views.
Nine connecting lakes make up this state park. With 10 miles of hiking trails, plentiful beaches, the one-room schoolhouse nature center and cabins for rustic overnights, there’s plenty to keep the whole family busy all weekend.
Easier said than it looks, this park’s name is the French spelling of a Native American word and is simply pronounced “Wabash.” Head here to enjoy the park’s interpretative naturalist services, hiking trails, swimming beaches and paved bike paths.
While not designated as state parks, there are plenty of natural areas nearby to get your outdoor fix. Check out Allen County Parks with more info about Fox Island and Matea Park which offer great activities for the kiddos. Salomon Farm Park is an historic working farm and park for everyone. Roush Lake Fish and Wildlife Area is designated for hunting and fishing opportunities.
Head to the Water
There are numerous lakes and rivers surrounding Fort Wayne offering cottage rentals for a weekend (or longer) getaway. There’s no better place to de-stress than near the water.
Lake Wawasee is Indiana’s largest natural lake, with rumors that Oprah has purchased lakeside property there, and Al Capone used to be a regular visitor. Salamonie Lake has tons of activities to enjoy besides swimming and boating including biking and bridle trails, playgrounds, sports courts and waterskiing. Other nearby favorites are Crooked Lake, Lake James and Tri-Lakes. Looking for a cottage or lake house rental? Try a quick search on AirBNB!
Fort Wayne is home to the St. Mary’s and St. Joseph Rivers which form the Maumee River. Fort Wayne Outfitters offers kayaking and canoe rentalswhile River City Ventures offers relaxing, scenic tours. If you’re willing to travel a bit out of the city, head just an hour to Howe, Indiana for some river adventuring. Mongo River Run and The Trading Post offer boat rentals from four to 13 mile runs down the quiet and scenic river.
Hit the Trails
Fort Wayne has hundreds of miles of paved bike paths allowing you to bike pretty much anywhere in the city. Prefer something more rugged? Hit up a mountain bike trail.
Fort Wayne and Allen County Trail Network will keep you and your bike busy this summer with even more trails to come. The Rivergreenway is perfect for the family, easily avoiding the busy streets, with just a few sections sharing the road. Franke Park offers 10 miles of rugged, single-path biking trails. While perhaps a bit outside of northeast Indiana, the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail is still worth mentioning for its 13 miles connecting Shipshewana and Goshen with only 1.5 miles being paved.
Since you can’t send the kids to school this summer, why not send them to camp!
YMCA Camp Potawotami teaches life lessons through sports, swimming, archery, ropes courses and climbing. They offer something for everyone based on ages and interests including a Star Wars and Fame Camp. Your kids won’t leave without a solid group of new skills and friends.
Camp Red Cedar is an all-inclusive adventure camp for kids and young adults living with disabilities. Spots fill up fast with most camps already at waiting list capacity. Hurry now to claim what’s left. Check out Visit Fort Wayne’s article about all the other day camps in and around Fort Wayne.
Looking for even more adventure? Try ziplining, aerial bridges and more at Zip Timber Lake in Huntington. Brave a skydiving or parachuting trip with Gravity Power Sports near Angola. Hop in a hot air balloon with Soaring Sports or Wander Aloft Ballooning.
What other outdoor adventures do you enjoy in northeast Indiana during the summer? Leave us a reply below with your favorites!