15 Best Things to Do in Connersville, IN
One of the oldest cities in Indiana, Connersville prides itself as home to Fayette County's one and only high school, as well as campgrounds and beautiful parks.
With only 13,481 population as of the 2010 census, the city is the largest and the county seat and is the only incorporated community in the county.
The city's economy is championed by its healthcare, manufacturing, and retail industries.
It used to be the Indiana Territory and was founded in 1813 by early settler John Conner, the brother of politician William Conner.
The city was named after Conner, who established a fur trading post in the Whitewater Valley with his brother and other companions.
Though it's small and suffered from almost bankruptcy, the city is now bustling with tourist activities thanks to its beautiful destinations.
It offers various opportunities for hiking, fishing, camping, and many other activities for those who love the outdoors.
Here's a list of the best things to do in Connersville, Indiana:
See the Historic Longwood Covered Bridge
Constructed in 1884, the historic Longwood Covered Bridge on Park Road is a Burr Arch Truss made with a gable roof, wood shingles, batten, and wood board.
The Kennedy Brothers built the 97-foot-long bridge, which originally stood over Williams Creek.
It was named after Longwood Station on the B&O Railroad, which was close to the creek near Glenwood.
In 1984, the bridge was moved to Roberts Park to preserve it for the future generation.
You can check more fascinating details about the historic covered bridge by checking out the historical marker on-site.
In 1981, the Longwood Covered Bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places but was delisted in 1989.
However, the bridge remains Indiana's and Fayette County's historical landmark.
Reconnect with Nature at Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary
Home to gorgeous forests, ponds, prairie, meadows, wildflowers, and native plants, Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary is a great spot to reconnect with nature.
There's plenty of wildlife to see, especially different species of birds, including brown creeper, evening grosbeak, dark-eyed Junko, red-breasted nuthatch, and more.
It's where the Hummingbird Migration Festival is celebrated, where you can enjoy seeing live birds of prey, as well as arts and crafts and native plants for sale, among others.
Watch and listen to the birds sing, step into the beautiful woods, and bask in the relaxing atmosphere that Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary offers.
The sanctuary started as a 264-acre property donated by Alice Green Gray to the Indiana Audubon Society in 1943 to honor her daughter, Mary, who passed away before her.
Today, it now encompasses more than 700 acres of gorgeous natural areas.
You can find it on South Bird Sanctuary Road.
Enjoy Camping at Robinson’s Whitewater River Campground
Camping aficionados shouldn't miss Robinson’s Whitewater River Campground.
The campground features over 100 campsites with many activities, including kayaking, tubing, canoeing, fishing, swimming, and more.
It also offers overnight and long-time camping for those staying for a week or more.
You'll love how the campsites are under the lush trees, providing a peaceful atmosphere.
You might also catch some live music here as the campground hosts a few concerts and fireworks displays.
Robinson’s Whitewater River Campground is located on State Road 121 South.
Attend the Fayette County Free Fair
The Fayette County Free Fair runs from the last day of July to the first week of August at Robert's Park on North Park Road.
It features family-friendly activities such as a livestock show, motocross, demolition derby, garden tractor pull, a baby show, live music, and more.
There's also a Fair Parade that showcases the beauty queens of the festival and food vendors, among others.
The Fayette County Free Fair is an annual celebration and is the oldest free fair in the state.
If you're visiting Connersville around this time, don't miss it with your family and friends!
Read a Book at Fayette County Public Library
Traveling bookworms will love spending time at Fayette County Public Library.
The library holds a wide selection of books of all genres for all ages and has comfortable reading nooks.
There are also free WiFi and computers to use if you need to research online.
Established in 1894, the library offers amazing events and activities for kids, from storytime to crafts, movies, and video games, among others.
Fayette County Public Library is located on North Grand Avenue.
Enjoy Tee Time at Willowbrook Country Club
Challenging layouts and well-manicured fairways and greens are what Willowbrook Country Club offers.
Established in the mid-1920s, the golf course is an 18-hole with a par of 72 nestled on a beautiful rolling terrain with mature trees and panoramic vistas.
It's a challenging course yet friendly enough for a few rounds of play.
There's also a large swimming pool, a bar, and a restaurant for everyone visiting and playing.
Willowbrook Country Club also hosts several occasions and banquets.
You can find it on West Country Club Road.
Watch a Movie at Showtime Cinemas
For movie fans, Showtime Cinemas is the best spot to catch the latest flicks.
The theater offers a great selection of movies perfect for the entire family.
If you wish to grab a snack, there's a concession stand selling popcorn, drinks, and other snacks to enjoy while watching a movie on the big screen.
Showtime Cinemas has other locations in Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky.
In Connerville, it's located right in the heart of the city on Park Road.
Get Closer to Nature at Shrader-Weaver Woods Nature Preserve
Take some time away from the big city's noise and enjoy the beauty of nature at Shrader-Weaver Woods Nature Preserve.
The 96-acre preserve offers immaculate old-growth forests, woodlands, and mature trees like walnut and oak surrounding the meandering trails.
About 1.9 miles of a loop trail offers a great opportunity for hiking with wildlife to see, including deer, coyote, and birds, among others.
The preserve features two trails—one meanders through the upland forest while the other winds through the lowland and old field.
Did you know that the wildflowers here are incredibly beautiful that they're considered the best in the county?
Shrader-Weaver Woods Nature Preserve is a breath of fresh air and offers a change of pace.
It's located at North County Road.
Enjoy Homecooked Meals at Daniel Girls Farmhouse Restaurant
Delicious homecooked meals, warm smiles, and a relaxing atmosphere are what Daniel Girls Farmhouse Restaurant is good at.
The family-operated restaurant offers mouthwatering meals, from breakfast to lunch and dinner.
Their steak, tenderloin, meatloaf, mashed potatoes, smoked meat, soups, and salads are popular among visitors.
They also offer daily specials that are not to be missed.
Most of all, the family-friendly and warm atmosphere that the restaurant offers is unmatched!
Daniel Girls Farmhouse Restaurant is owned by the Daniel stars, who make their own in-house noodles, gravies, batters, soups, desserts, and dressings.
You can find the restaurant on North Central Avenue.
Spend a Day at the Historic Roberts Park
Not only a beautiful park but also historic, Roberts Park offers great amenities for everyone who wants to relax and take a break.
The 80-acre park houses several historical and old buildings, including the 1903 Pavilion, the 1903 Horse Track, the 1910 House Barns, and more.
There's also a swimming pool, a playground, a grandstand, athletic fields, and walking paths.
Look out for cute squirrels and birds!
The park also hosts many different events, including the Fayette County Free Fair, and a beautiful fireworks display during the 4th of July.
In 2014, Roberts Park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
You can find it on Park Road.
Learn about the Past at the Fayette County Historical Museum
It's always nice to learn something from the past when traveling, and Connersville visitors can enjoy a glimpse into the past at Fayette County Historical Museum.
The museum houses a great collection of artifacts, archives, and displays showcasing the history of the city, Fayette County, and the State of Indiana.
Learn more about the Native Americans, the industrial and manufacturing history, and more.
You can learn about life in the past and how it helped shape the city today.
The Historic Connersville maintains the Fayette County Historical Museum.
You can find it on West 5th Street.
Have a Picnic at John Conner Nature Preserve Trail Park
One of the best gems in Connersville is John Conner Nature Preserve Trail Park, where you can share a nice picnic with your family and friends.
The park features a pavilion with picnic tables to use for a delicious lunch or snacks while being surrounded by beautiful scenery.
There's a small lake, picturesque walking trails for scenic nature walks, a beautiful wooded area, and an overall relaxing atmosphere.
Named after the town's founder John Conner, the park is also perfect for solo travelers who want to take a moment to relax and sit by the woods and contemplate.
John Conner Nature Preserve Trail Park is nestled on South Eastern Avenue.
Appreciate the Artworks at Whitewater Valley Arts Association
Connersville isn't only rich in history and culture but also home to amazing and prolific artists, which are showcased at Whitewater Valley Arts Association.
Founded in 1962, the association showcases a permanent collection of artworks by artists in the valley.
It also hosts different activities and events on arts and crafts, including workshops, art education, art competitions, and more.
There are photographs, paintings, crafts, and sculptures to see at the exhibit, which are all showcased to support the artists in the region.
Whitewater Valley Arts Association is located off North Central Avenue.
Go Hiking at Nickel Plate Rail Trail
Nickel Plate Rail Trail offers almost a mile of a hiking trail with panoramic views.
Along the way, you'll see beautiful wooded areas, quiet communities, pretty wildflowers in bloom, and the historic Roberts Park.
You'll also see some bikers enjoying the trail, as well as small wildlife, including birds perched on the treetops.
Opened in 2015, Nickel Plate Rail Trail is a popular spot for those who want to experience the Indiana countryside while enjoying the relaxing nature views.
You can access the trail at the intersection of 32nd Street and Park Road.
Visit the Historic Canal House
Constructed in 1842 by the Whitewater Valley Canal Co., the historic Canal House served as the headquarters of the canal staff.
The two-story structure was built in a Greek Revival style with Doric-order fluted pillars.
There's also a bank in the historic house which was renovated by Congressman Finly Hutchinson Gray and his wife.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars local chapter also used the building as an office.
Today, the historic Canal House is preserved as a local history museum owned and maintained by Historic Connersville.
In 1973, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Canal House is located on East 4th Street.
Despite its challenges in the past, Connersville remains a gem in Fayette County and continues to grow and attract many tourists.
Its thriving community proves it's still one of Indiana's crowning jewels.
Experience these best things to do in Connersville, Indiana, on your trip!