WORTH THE DRIVE: Indiana’s Parke County Covered Bridge Festival the place for all things fall

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

Indiana’s largest festival, the Parke County Covered Bridge Festival, is in full swing through Sunday, Oct. 22 with arts and crafts, food, fall foliage and 31 historic covered bridges to check out.

Located about three hours from the Dayton area, it’s the perfect stop for all things fall.

My best friend and I went to the headquarters of the festival in Rockville on Friday, Oct. 13 — the first day of the festivities. I was amazed with all the different food options. We had chicken tenders and homemade corn fritters with cinnamon butter from The Chuck-Wagon Ladies. Those alone, were worth the three hour drive. The only thing I regret is not trying their fried biscuits with apple butter.

Rockville had a variety of vendors from antiques and house décor to clothing and permanent jewelry.

We also explored Billie Creek Village, where we saw three covered bridges and several historic buildings include a schoolhouse, two churches, Governor’s house and a General Store.

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

Here are eight other towns worth visiting in Parke County:

  • Bellmore: Pumpkins, mums and a variety of family yard sales.
  • Mansfield: Home to the Historic Mansfield Roller Mill and an array of festival food and goods.
  • Bloomingdale: The Clay Plant, apple butter making and homemade chicken and noodle dinners.
  • Bridgeton: Filled with a variety of historic structures, it’s home to Indiana’s Most Famous Covered Bridge.
  • Rosedale: Activity hub featuring local crafts and a quilt sale.
  • Mecca: Home to the county’s oldest operating tavern along with a large tent of handmade items.
  • Montezuma: Crullers, roast hog and beans and wagon tours along the Wabash and Erie Canal.
  • Tangier: Home of the buried beef.

Tickets are not required. For more information, visit www.coveredbridges.com or the county’s Facebook or Instagram pages.

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