Parke County in west central Indiana offers some great riding and some interesting sights, too. You don’t have to travel too far to get away from the traffic and fast pace of the city. With Rockville, the county seat, at the center, Parke County is known for its covered bridges and maple syrup. There are more than 30 covered bridges in the area and many are still open to traffic. Five routes ranging from 24 to 36 miles traverse the county and pass by or through most of the bridges. The routes are color-coded with markers along the way. Other points of interest are several maple syrup camps (the fair is in late February/early March), historic grist mills, Billie Creek Village with 30 historic buildings and 3 covered bridges, and several outdoor recreational areas.

For the history buffs among us, WWII reporter Ernie Pyle hails from the area.

Turkey Run InnTurkey Run InnParke County is also home to Turkey Run State Park and the Turkey Run Inn. Indiana has terrific state parks and this is a great one. Turkey Run Inn is a traditional lodge plus cabins, complete with restaurant and indoor pool in a beautiful wooded setting. The Inn fills up quickly, so advance reservations are highly recommended. There are also several bed and breakfast inns and small local motels in the area.

As for eats, Turkey Run Inn has a restaurant and there are several in downtown Rockville, including the Thirty Six Saloon. A great place for a lunch stop is the Rock Run Café and Bakery in Rosedale (on the red loop). Save room for dessert!

Be sure to pick up a Covered Bridges brochure with more information and map of the designated routes.

To get there: take US 52 south and east into Indiana, where it will hook up with US 41 near Kentland. Stay on US 41 to Rockville.

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