top 15 Outstanding Things to Do
Don’t want to miss any of these
Travel the historic Heritage Trail to see Amish Crafters, Gardens and Great small towns while guided by the audio tour guide
The acclaimed self-guided Heritage Trail driving tour is your personal guide to that Amish furniture shop hidden away on a peaceful rural road, the city gallery with one-of-a-kind jewelry and that shady riverside park just right for a picnic. That’s its practical purpose. Yet turn-by-turn, this easy-to-follow route through Amish Country also offers magical moments.
Your moment might come on a quiet country lane as a buggy passes under a canopy of sycamore branches and creates a scene that seems drawn from a Currier & Ives woodcut. Or perhaps it’s the fleeting but intoxicating aroma of baking bread and just-brewed coffee as you cruise past a village bakery. It might even come as a gentle storm of scarlet maple leaves fluttering down along a riverside road.
And at times along the winding 90-mile loop, you might feel like you’re time traveling. Simply driving the 11-mile stretch east from Elkhart to Bonneyville Mill takes you back to 1835. When the mill race gate opens each morning at the park’s boxy red grist mill, the lazy current of the Little Elkhart River begins its task of spinning a mossy waterwheel. Inside, steel gears mesh and thick shafts linked by broad hide belts coax massive grindstones into motion. A few miles east of the mill at Bonneyville Cemetery, the tombstone inscription on the grave of William Tufts honors his service in the Revolutionary War—and at the Boston Tea Party.
As you explore, the free audio guide (your choice of a CD or downloadable MP3) regales you with colorful stories of the region’s settlement and growth, its heroes and scalawags. All the while, following detailed directions on your vehicle’s CD player— even your iPod—you can reach every hidden corner of a region that the editors of LIFE® named “one of the top places to see in your lifetime.”
Ready to go? Just pick up your free CD and map at the Elkhart County Visitor Center or download both at AmishCountry.org.