These three attractions in Lafayette-West Lafayette are a must visit for the perfect weekend getaway, featuring nature, history and delicious frozen treats.
The Farm at Prophetstown sits on a hill just inside Prophetstown State Park. Get ready for a hands-on 1920’s experience from the time you arrive!
Wander around the landowner and tenant houses, ordered straight out of a catalog. Walk among chickens and turkeys. Meet the horses, Daisy and Ryder. Experience sheep shearing. Learn about seed saving and pick up a packet of heirloom seeds for your garden. Try your hand at canning in a non-threatening environment. Children are invited to play with vintage egg beaters and hair crimpers.
Most programs at the Farm are free. This working 100-acre farm is open year-round, seven days a week. Buy beef, pork and eggs during your visit. The diversely talented staff does everything from tending to the animals to demonstrating the player piano to hosting farm-to-table dinners with Chef Lauren.
The Farm at Prophetstown partners with the Department of Natural Resources to create experiences for young and old. “Our goal is to help people live better,” says Leslie Martin Conwell, Farm Executive Director. A $50 membership includes various discounts, and doubles as an Indiana State Park Pass!
Prophetstown State Park is the realization of a dream of Richard Lieber and the Indiana State Parks system: have a park within one hour of every Indiana citizen. This 2,300-acre glaciated property features prairie, woodland, wetland and river habitat. “We teach people to see the rolling prairie as beautiful,” says Interpretive Naturalist Jenna Parks.
Visit the Native American Village and learn about the way of life of Northern Indiana tribes. Wander the prairies. Five miles of bike trails cross the property. Hike along Trail 3, where the Wabash and Tippecanoe Rivers join. In addition to trails, the park has campgrounds, three picnic shelters and an aquatics center.
In spring, see how fire rejuvenates the prairie. Prescribed burns are vital for prairie management. In only a week-and-a-half to two weeks after a burn, the prairie springs back to life. In summer, fill your senses with prairie grasses and vibrant wildflowers. Every year the park staff grows 20,000 prairie plants, wildflowers and grasses native to the area for propagation.
The property is frequented year-round by birdwatchers. Look for short-eared owls around the fens. Keep an eye out for the resident eagles and sandhill cranes.
Prophetstown State Park sits in the area where, in 1808, “The Prophet” Tenskwatawa and his brother Tecumseh united 14 Native American tribes. The brothers invited these tribes to set aside their disputes to protect their lands in the Northwest Territory. After the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811, “Prophet’s Town” was burned to the ground and the tribes disbursed. The “Circle of Stones” represents 14 known tribes, as well as one stone for unrecorded tribes, who gathered at Prophet’s Town.
Across the river, visit Tippecanoe Battlefield, a national historic landmark. The peaceful, groomed lawn and mature trees are dotted with markers where soldiers fell in battle. The museum offers a fascinating look into the rich military, political and Native American history of the area. Wander along the Wabash Heritage Trail or the “Trail of Death” adjacent to the battleground.
The Igloo Frozen Custard is the perfect ending to a day on the prairie. Custard treats, sandwiches, sides and salads appeal to “children” of all ages. The retro decor and fast service by happy employees is relaxing. My truly “tender” tenderloin sandwich, hot onion rings and mint-chocolate custard with sprinkles and real whipped cream made this an “I’ll definitely be back” experience!
Prophetstown State Park
Swisher Road, West Lafayette, IN, USA
Tippecanoe Battlefield Museum
Battleground Avenue, Battle Ground, IN, USA
Igloo Frozen Custard
Tazer Drive, Lafayette, IN, USA