This large county park has many natural and historic features to enjoy, as well as 7 miles of trails to get to them. So a hike was in order for the afternoon.
Limestone was mined here forming the quarries by the Casparis Stone Company (1892-1927) and the France Stone Company (1927-1967). In 1943, workers struck a spring that filled the Old Kenith Stone Quarry overnight, leaving equipment and tools at the bottom.Some rail cars and tracking still rest at the bottom of the quarry which is popular with scuba divers. We hiked a trail along the top of those cliffs.
View from the Quarry Trail. There is a swimming beach at one end and you can launch kayaks there too. The Ranger told me there are 7-foot Sturgeon in the quarry. Yikes!
A place to sit and look for sturgeon below...
These people are lined up to zipline across the quarry. (My auto-correct wanted me to say "biplane.")
The trail continues around the quarry and below the cliffs on the other side.
This 10-acre prairie was established with perennial grasses in 1991. Another trail surrounds the prairie and there is a wildlife viewing tower. There is also a constructed wetlands which is used as a method of treating wastewater. I did not get that far in my wanderings.
The Wabash and Erie Canal runs through the park. Its main use was to transport the stone mined at the quarry. Canal boats were pulled by mules along the towpath, which is now another walking trail. The canal's operations ceased when the railroad began its operations throughout the area.
Workers are setting up for a fall-themed wedding in the park...pumpkins and fall leaves make up the decor.
The wedding will be held beside this waterfall.
During the 1800's France Park was home to a large community of people, primarily immigrants from Italy and Ireland employed by the canal and the quarry operations. This oven was used as a community resource for anyone needing to bake their bread.
So that was today's adventure.