Johnny Appleseed Campground
Camping in the middle of the city might seem unusual, but this camp ground is nicely located close to Jonny Appleseed Park and his historic grave site and The River Greenway runs right by the camp ground.
In addition, you can walk to see a Fort Wayne Wizards baseball game, go fishing (its only about 200 feet from the Maumee River) or walking/biking on The Greenway.
The link has additional info, along with schedule of fees and location.
The Greenway is a great way to see Ft Wayne. The Trail runs along the banks of the St. Mary’s, St. Joseph and the Maumee Rivers and crosses numerous bridges and passes by the old fort thats in the middle of Fort Wayne.
A good starting point is Johnny Appleseed Park.
The Greenway has a web site with additional information concerning points of interest, distance of each loop and has a downloadable map. There is no cost.
Fort Wayne has a professional base team, the Fort Wayne Wizards. They are a single "A" club and are affiliated with the San Diego Padres.
We go about once a year. The game tickets cost 6 dollars and all the seats are great. I think going to a minor league game is more fun than a major league game. They have fireworks for every night game.
Please see link for more info.
Takes place the 3rd weekend in September. Since there is a website with a lot of information, I recommend checking it out instead of me trying to add all that info here (and not doing a good job in the process).
Freimann Sqaure is located at the corner of E. Main Street and S. Clinton Street.
There is a statue of Major General Anthony Wayne at the edge of the square.
It has many benches to sit on and a nice fountain to look at.
There were some newly planted tulips the day I was there.
There are nice views of the Fort Wayne skyline from the square also.
The square was named after Frank Freimann, who was CEO of the Magnavox Company between 1950 and 1967.
This used to be listed in my Tourist Trap list but after must debating I came to the conclusion that it doesn't really fit the description of a tourist trap, which to mean is something that cons you into paying money to visit a place and then not delivering what was promised. Well, the Lincoln Museum does deliver. It is the largest private collection of Lincoln memoribilia in the world. The museum includes several interactive exhibits as well as hand written documents from the president and family photos. There are several short films about Lincoln's life, a very detailed timeline of the Civil War, and even a replica of the theater box Lincoln was assassinated in at Ford's Theater (pictured, sorry it's so dark!) The museum is open Tuesday-Saturday 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday 1-5 pm. Closed Mondays. It is closed New Year's Day, Easter, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Admission is $4.99 for adults. $3.99 for seniors 60 and over and for kids age 5-12. Parking is free.
NOTE: The Lincoln Museum is currently scheduled to close permanently on June 30, 2008.
Fox Island County Park is the largest forested area remaining in Allen County. Located on the southwest side of Fort Wayne, it is bordered by the interstate on one side and railroad tracks on another. It's also close enough to the airport that jets with their landing gear down cruise low enough overhead you'll swear you can see the people inside. All of this will remind you that you're still in civilization (notice the nearby train in the picture), but it's still secluded enough that you can enjoy peace and quiet close to life in the big city. Several miles of hiking trails wander through the woods. There are picnic spots and swimming beaches, cross country skiing and bird watching. Fox Island is often considered Fort Wayne's best kept secret. To get to Fox Island, take I-69 to exit 102. Head west on U.S. 24 (Jefferson Blvd.) and turn left at the second stoplight (just past the Wendys) Follow that road past the stores and hotels, over the railroad tracks, across the interstate and eventually Fox Island County Park will appear on the left side of the road. Admission is $2 per person (NOTE: Possibly more with out-of-county liscense plates) and is often done on the honor system. I'm really curious how many people actually fill out the envelope and pay. The park is open 9AM-6PM October 1-April 30 and 9AM-8PM May 1-September 30. It's closed on Mondays. It occasionally opens early and sometimes stays open late during celestial events at the observatory.
The Fort Wayne Childrens Zoo is said to be one of the best in the country and Fort Wayne's number 1 attraction! In fact, a recent issue of Child magazine listed the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo as the 9th best zoo for children in the country, placing it alongside the Lowry Park Zoo, San Diego Zoo, Cincinnati Zoo, and Toledo Zoo! Set on 42 acres, it houses over 2,200 animals and serves over 500,000 visitors each year. It is divided into regions: Central Zoo, Indonesian Rainforest, and the Australian Adventure. Kids love the world's only endangered species carousel. I personally enjoy Australia After Dark with the bat exhibit and the humid Indonesian Rainforest Dome. Don't miss the new Jellyfish, Rays, and Sharks exhibit! It's amazing! New in 2007 is the Sky Safari Ride. On this ride you can get a bird's eye view of the new construction on African Journey. During the months that school is in session (opening until early June and late August through closing), try to go to the zoo on a weekday around 2 or 3 in the afternoon. School groups usually clear out by or shortly after 2 and you will feel like you have the place to yourself!! While the gates close at 5, visitors are allowed to stay on the grounds until 6, although all buildings close at 5:30. If you can't go then, try Sunday morning when the zoo opens! The zoo always opens at 9 and most people on Sundays don't start coming in until noon. The zoo, now closed for the season, will open for the 2007 season on April 21st. It is open 9am-5pm everyday, including holidays. Admission: Adults $8.00, Children (2-14) $5.00, Seniors (60 and over) $7.00, and children under 2 free.
NOTE: The African Savannah section of the zoo is closed for complete $10.5 million renovations. The new African area, dubbed African Journey, is set to open by 2009 and will feature completely new exhibits and animals. The original African village with giraffes, leopards, and monkeys is still open.
In the making since the 1970s, the Rivergreenway is a paved multi-purpose path linking many of the large parks in the city and runs along the three rivers that flow through town. Stretching a total of 15 miles, the greenway is perfect for jogging, walking, or bike riding. The trail is safe and beautiful for the most part, but it has it's share of problems. Being a publicly funded trail, anyone has access and transients and other unmentionables have become common place, especially after dark and on the part of the trail west of downtown. This isn't limited to just the Rivergreenway but most of the public parks in Fort Wayne. The city recently announced new funds that will go to upgrading and expanding the Rivergreenway. The greenway basically follows the three rivers through town. See the website for maps.
Headwaters Park encompasses the area in what is called "the thumb." It is a bend in the St. Mary River where the river curves north before making a big U and heading south. The park is located just north of downtown Fort Wayne. Clinton Street splits the park in two but an underpass along the river and pedestrian traffic light allow for easy crossing. Plenty of paved walking paths are provided here. Stroll along what I call Momument Circle (my tribute to downtown Indianapolis), a paved trail lined with monuments and plaques telling about the history of Fort Wayne and the surrounding area. The trail starts and ends at the fountain and passes by a statue of Cheif Little Turtle. The most popular activity is for families to come out on a hot summer day and play in the fountain! The views of the Fort Wayne skyline are excellent! This is also where the huge Three Rivers Festival is held for 10-days every year in July. Fort Wayne is a party town and almost every weekend in summer there is a festival going on. Your best bet for finding them is at Headwaters park. During the winter months, enjoy the covered outdoor ice skating rink. So don your skates and head downtown! Well, maybe you should wait until you get there to put them on.
The Historic Fort Wayne is a recreation of the original fort that the city was named after. The replica is the current center of contraversy in the city. The funds aren't there to maintain it and vandals have taken their toll. It lost a lot of authenticity when the surrounding wood fence was dismantled to keep a better eye on vandals. It's rarely open except on special occasions a few times a year. It used to be open all the time for school groups to come through and employees would dress in period costumes and tell stories about how life was at the fort. There is a group currently working to collect funds and update the fort. The fort is best accessed by a short paved trail from Lawton Park or across the pedestrian bridge over the St. Mary River from Headwaters Park.
NOTE: An electrical fire during the night of July 11, 2004 left extensive water and smoke damage in one of the buildings. It is unknown when, or even if, the damage will ever be repaired. This picture was taken on May 29, 2005. Almost a year later, no damage has been repaired.
Freimann Square is a small park in the middle of downtown Fort Wayne. The center piece is a large fountain and in one corner is a statue of the famous General "Mad" Anthony Wayne, who the city is named after. For art lovers, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art borders the park on the east side. Look for a plaque on the walkway between the park and the performing arts center. The plaque marks the old intersection of Barr and Columbia Streets, the place where the city of Fort Wayne got its official start.
Only for history buffs. This building is a working office building so they don't give tours or anything. The Lincoln Tower was believe it or not, Indiana's first skyscraper! That's right, Fort Wayne had skyscrapers even before Indianapolis did! Once or twice a year the outdoor observation platform at the top of the tower is open for tours, usually during the Be a Tourist in Your Hometown day, which is in September, and occasionally during the Three Rivers Festival. Otherwise, security usually keeps you out if you aren't a Tower Bank customer. If you can get in, it's a beautiful building.
Plaster Fun Spot is one of Fort Wayne's newest family destinations. Perfect for anyone, from toddlers up through seniors - anyone who can enjoy the simple pleasures of painting. They do offer party packages, but they also accept "walk-ins" during business hours.
When you arrive you first pick your favorite piece. With over 100 different pieces to choose from, there are items available for every age and interest. There are small pieces perfect for smaller hands, as well as large pieces for the ambitious artist. From personal gifts to home decorating to just plain fun, there is something for everyone. Plaster Fun Spot supplies all the paints, brushes, finishing sprays, and glitter. Everything you’ll need to complete your piece before you leave. They even supply the smock and take care of the mess! When you're done painting they seal your work and it’s ready to take home in 10 minutes. There's no need to come back to pick up your piece!
Plaster Fun Spot has a Facebook group you might want to join "Plaster Fun Spot Friends." If you join and tell them when you visit the studio you'll get a discount! - Here's a link to the group: http://www.new.facebook.com/group.php?gid=76912665617
AN UPDATE FOR 2007: Black Pine was forced to move in 2006 and is now located on a beautiful new 18-acre site! It's going to be even bigger and better than ever - check it out!
For those who really love to go to the zoo to actually see the animals (not to eat expensive crappy food or walk eighty miles and look through binoculars to see anything) will LOVE this place.
Black Pine is actually not a zoo exactly, it's an exotic animal sanctuary. They have quite a large number of big cats, primates, birds, reptiles, and other animals. Most all are either rescued pets or retired performers from circuses and things.
The BEST thing about Black Pine is that their staff of volunteers really spends time with you and tells you stories about the animals, facts about the species, and interacts with them so you can really SEE them. All the animals seem very healthy and happy, too.
There is a quaint little gift shop, very reasonable prices. Admission is a bargain, too! Free parking, and a cute little town to explore. Chain O Lakes State Park is nearby, too. One of the state's best!
This is a great find!!