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Old 03-04-2008, 06:13 AM
 
Location: Virginia
82 posts, read 455,058 times
Reputation: 35

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I (as well as a few other posters) will be moving to West Lafayette in the next few months. I'd like to fully embrace the town and state that my wife and I will soon call home. One way to do that is to get on the fast-track to finding all the great things to do and places to see, is to ask all of you that have been there what your great memories are.... The stuff not in the visitors guide.

For instance: What is the best trail for an afternoon stroll away from traffic? What is the best state park for overnight camping? What is your best memory of a Purdue football game? What hole-in-the-wall resturant do you remember so well for the _______ they serve? Where is the best place to sit and think on the Wabash? Where is the best place to see the stars at night? Where did you ask your spouse to marry you? Or where did you adopt your favorite pet?


Thanks for sharing any thoughts. And if you need info on the Virginia Tech area, I'll be more than happy to give you the low-down.
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Old 03-04-2008, 03:28 PM
 
34 posts, read 109,988 times
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Having grown up here, I must first give the standard response: there is nothing to do here. An exaggeration, but it is very much a "make your own fun" area. With the formalities out of the way, on to your questions:

Trails.
The longest is the Wabash Heritage Trail. It runs ~13 miles from the Tippecanoe Battlefield in Battle Ground south to Lafayette, crosses the pedestrian bridge into West Lafayette, and goes south to Fort Ouiatenon. The parts of the trail in Lafayette and West Lafayette are paved and open to bikes; the part run by the county parks is dirt and bikes are very much forbidden. In West Lafayette there is Happy Hollow Park (http://parks.city.west-lafayette.in.us/hollow.asp - broken link) which has a small system of trails. Lafayette parks don't have much in the way of wooded trails, though there is one park slowly being developed. In the southern part of the county is Ross Hills Park About a half-hour north, Delphi (broken link) has a small series of trails. Additionally, outside of Battle Ground is Prophetstown State Park. It is largely being restored to prairie, so the trails are fairly out in the open.

Best camping.
Do you mean real camping with a tent, or fake camping with a trailer? The aforementioned Prophetstown is closest, but the campground is out in the open. I have to imagine it gets hot in the summer. By far the most popular one is Turkey Run. It's about an hour south, which makes a quick getaway when you're sick of flat cornfields. In the same general area is Shades. Everything here is similar to Turkey Run, but smaller, especially the crowds. Additionally, the campground doesn't have any sites with electricity. Those are the closest parks. I've been to pretty much all of Indiana's state parks, so if you have more questions, or could give me an idea of what you're looking for, I can give you some more suggestions.

For restaurants, I'll refer you to the local newspaper's bragging rights survey.

To see the stars, get out of town. Best advice: befriend a farmer. On a related note, get your kids involved in 4-H. And farm cats make the best pets.
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Old 03-05-2008, 02:08 PM
 
Location: Virginia
82 posts, read 455,058 times
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Thanks for the info about the parks. As for camping, we only use tents and a campfire. We also really like trails and the good ol' fishin' hole. It looks like southern Indiana has lots of that for us.

It's funny you said I should befriend a farmer. I was thinking about finding some land somewhere to raise a few cattle, hopefully not far from our house. Perhaps befriending a farmer might help with that.
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Old 03-05-2008, 02:18 PM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,080 posts, read 10,247,537 times
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Patken, I think I know you. The "every park in Indiana" gave you away. That, and the handle.

How could you forget to mention Arnis?!!!

Go to Arnis in Market Square, get the pizza. Pick at least 2 toppings, ask for extra sauce. There are other Arni's scattered around the state, but the original is in Market Square--about the only business able to survive there long-term. You're taking your chances with one of the branches. Turn right for the noisy but interesting toy room. Turn left for the quieter room. There's an attached bar (totally separate, and if you don't look for it, you won't even know it's there) called the "Loading Dock." Dunno about that, though. To get to it, turn right after you enter, pass the men's and women's depot, and you're there.

The heritage trail does forbid bikes (and the park rangers have dogs!) but I'm one of the few who has biked the entire length. Haha! It is a pleasant walk from the Battlefield to Davis Ferry park, where you can cross the abandoned old canal road bridge over the Wabash if you dare.

One of the local festivals to check out is the Feast of the Hunters Moon held in Fort Ouiatanon south of town off South River Road (US431) every fall.

Newer, but also recommended are:

Taste of Tippecanoe on the revitalized riverfront and downtown near the old Main Street Bridge and now spilling into downtown due to it's popularity. Midsummer.

Slater Center Fireworks; The 2nd best firework show in the county, July 4th. Bring a blanket, picnic, and bug spray.
The location of the number-one fireworks show is a secret.

Purdue may not have the nicest campus in Indiana, but it makes a fun bicycle destination. There are two large fountains you (and/or your kids) can run through to cool off on a hot summer day.

There is a ice-rink on the riverfront at the levee (where WLaf and Laf meet at the Wabash.--on the WLAF side.) Pay 2 to skate and 2 for skates if you don't own any. Take an obligatory spin around the postage-stamp sized rink (Winter, after a week of temps below freezing)

The Purdue Golf Course has one of the better sledding hills in the county when it snows. Bring an inner-tube, a bunch of invincible kids with rubber bones, and look for the cluster of cars along Cherry Lane near campus when it snows. Watch out for sleds with metal runners.

Lastly, if you are looking to purchase or build on a big beautiful countryside lot, send me a private message. I know of a nice area you should consider.

That's it for now. WLAF was a nice place to grow up, so I'd say it's a good place to raise a family.
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Old 03-05-2008, 06:39 PM
 
34 posts, read 109,988 times
Reputation: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by sponger42 View Post
Patken, I think I know you. The "every park in Indiana" gave you away. That, and the handle.

How could you forget to mention Arnis?!!!
I was wondering how long it'd take you to notice. But it took the parks reference, not the same handle I've used since the days of Dave's BBS? I am using the ultra-spam variant, it must work better than I thought. And I didn't exactly forget to mention Arni's. I did it on purpose. Yes, it's good pizza, but unlike some other people I know, I'm not exactly one to sacrifice my first-born at the altar of Arni's. However, there are enough of your brethren that it won the J&C's popularity contest, which I did link.

And since you mentioned sledding, seeing as I am the authority on that, the quick rundown on the area's hills. In addition to the golf course, the biggest (and most popular) hill on campus is Slayter Hill. Over Christmas break, check it out, but if Purdue's in session, you're probably better off staying away. Happy Hollow Park has a nice hill. Additionally, there is a hill behind Happy Hollow school. If it's cold, but there's no snow, Lafayette Parks Dept. has a snow maker for the hill at Murdock Park. It's a little smaller, but once it gets packed down and iced over, it's still worth the trip.
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Old 03-10-2008, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Virginia
82 posts, read 455,058 times
Reputation: 35
i didn't really know there were any hills in West Lafayette... are they huge? or just little mounds? Or, perhaps, are they re-claimed landfills...
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Old 03-10-2008, 02:50 PM
 
34 posts, read 109,988 times
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Well, the size kind of depends on your frame of reference. We're not talking mountains. There are no hills once you get out of the Wabash River valley, but since it bisects Lafayette/WL, there are a few in the towns. ~50 ft. elevation change would probably be average.
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Old 03-14-2008, 06:13 AM
 
Location: Virginia
82 posts, read 455,058 times
Reputation: 35
Is there any swimming/tubing in the Wabash or other creeks? I've heard that the Wabash is pretty polluted. Any truth to that? It might crimp my fishing plans.
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Old 03-14-2008, 03:51 PM
 
37 posts, read 158,400 times
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my husband was told to not eat any fish out of the wabash...I know some of the subdivisions have ponds that are stocked with fish but again, the run off may make you think twice about eating these unfortunately.

Have you narrowed your house hunt Hokieed? Your trip is coming soon to buy something, right? Good luck!
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Old 03-14-2008, 06:55 PM
 
2,697 posts, read 5,266,230 times
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I grew up in Lafayette. Although I haven't visited the area in many years, I do have a few suggestions. For a great burger or chopsteak as they are called, visith the Triple XXX restaurant. For ice cream lovers, the Frozen Custard, near Columbian Park can't be beat! I loved visiting Turkey Run State Park for hiking and camping. Feast of the Hunters' Moon at Fort Ouiatenon is an incredible "reinactment" of life in the 1700's along the Wabash. Thousands of participants work this event and you'll feel like you have been transported back in time. I think the festival is usually the first or second weekend in October. Going to a Purdue football game in October is wonderful. Highschool basketball is king in this area. Go to a Jeff or Westside game and enjoy. Not sure if they are still in existence, but there used to be a local chain of pizza places called Pizza King....great pizza!!
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