From knitting to cycling, this region offers a plethora of places to pursue your passions.
Many things define us as individuals – our family, where we live, our career choice, but also what we do in our free time. Hobbies describe who we are, relieve stress, challenge us, build our self esteem, prevent boredom and connect us with people who have the same interests.
Ask any East Central Indiana resident, and they will soon tell you that this region is a place where hobbies thrive and people pursue their passions, both indoors and out.
Let’s check out five of the many options – you might just find a new hangout spot… or two.
1. Experience the Fiber Arts
If the word “knitting” conjures images of grandma with a set of needles and balls of yarn, think again — the fiber arts have made quite the comeback.
Ply Fiber Arts in Richmond is just the place for you to feed this hobby, as it is home to a wide range of supplies and curated consignment pieces.
Plus, Tangled Web Art Studio in Muncie specializes in all types of fiber arts, including weaving, and offers classes. Also in Muncie is Blue Butterfly Originals, the creator of the Skipper hand-held loom. Nearby in Anderson is Copper Centaur Studios, which features hundreds of yarns and fiber arts supplies as well as hand-dyed yarn.
The Trading Post in Pendleton sources high-quality spinning fibers, traditional yarns and fiber-arts equipment from around the globe.
And if you weren’t already woven with excitement, Jay County hosts an annual Fiber Arts Festival.
2. Serve Up Some Fun with Pickleball
Far from the crunchy cucumbers soaked in brine, Pickleball is actually a sport that’s similar to tennis – and the fastest growing sport in the U.S., at that.
The region offers several locations for folks to grab their paddle and go, including Northwest YMCA and Morrow’s Meadow Park in Muncie, Richmond Senior Community Center and Clear Creek Park in Richmond, Golay Community Center in Cambridge City, and the Madison County Pickleball Association.
Some of these locations also offer classes and arrange games.
3. Launch a Book Tour
Hey, bookworms, take your eyes away from those pages for just a second because East Central Indiana boasts several local bookstores for you to peruse.
In Richmond, The Two Sisters: Books and More in the Depot District features 2,800 square feet of books, cozy nooks and a tea counter — yes, a bibliophile’s dream. In Marion, Tree of Life Bookstore carries new books with a Christian focus and features The Abbey Coffee Co., which roasts beans on-site.
White Rabbit Used Books in Muncie has been around for more than 20 years, and nearby in Madison County is a resident favorite called The Anderson Book Nook.
For those of you whose love of cats measures up to your love of books, Cat Tales Book Store & Adoption Center in Portland is for you. Combining the best of both worlds, this shop sells used books and finds homes for felines.
As for readers who lean more toward comics, Bob’s Comic Castle in Muncie stocks the latest and greatest, or you can visit Comic Relief Comics in Richmond.
4. Soak Up Some Adventure
At Prairie Creek Reservoir in Muncie, visitors can spend hours outdoors, boating, swimming, fishing, camping, hiking and biking. Plus, it is home to ATV and horseback riding trails.
Locals love tubing, fishing, canoeing and kayaking in the White River, and Mounds State Park in Anderson is the perfect place to take a scenic hike.
As for Summit Lake State Park in Henry County, you can be “one with nature,” as it is home to the area’s only nature preserve.
5. Pedal the Day Away on the Cardinal Greenway
If you are more comfortable on two wheels than two feet, East Central Indiana has just what you are looking for.
Grab your bike and head to Cardinal Greenway, which offers 62 miles of recreational trails. This popular route hosts cycling and other events throughout the year, and plans are in the works to eventually connect it to similar trails in Illinois and Ohio. Several smaller trails that connect now include rail trails, which are renovated from former railroad lines.