Winona Lake, in Kosciusko County, is not just full of fun on the water. There are plenty of family-friendly activities on dry land too.
The Village At Winona is a group of 20 Victorian homes along a channel off the lake that are renovated into unique, locally-owned retail or service shops. They’re all easily accessible by bike or foot.
“The lake is beautiful and there are so many things to do here. There are wonderful restaurants and you can walk everywhere. The hiking trails are beautiful. It’s a hidden gem. A hidden gem in Indiana,” Jamie Wiles-Smith said while having lunch at Cerulean along the canal.
Wiles-Smith traveled from her home about 40 minutes away to meet up with extended family who live about 90 minutes away.
“We live in different parts of the state and this was a great place to meet. It’s affordable and safe,” she said.
The BoatHouse is also a popular dining spot, with tables right on the waterfront.
The Gilley family traveled about 30 minutes to spend the afternoon at Winona Lake.
“You can have everything. You can just relax, you can fish, you can go to the sandbar and enjoy that. We brought cards and we’ll just enjoy family time,” Sarah Gilley said.
They rented a pontoon from The Lake House, also located along the channel in The Village.
“They have coolers. They put up the shade so we have shade and sun,” she said. “It’s just about being all together and have fun being outside and not in the house anymore.”
The Lake House also rents kayaks and paddle boards, if a person-powered watercraft is more your speed.
For land activities, there also are extensive hiking and biking trails.
“The Heritage Trail runs through the woods and we have a mountain bike trail that people have come from all over the country for,” Mitchell Randall with Visit Kosciusko County, said.
While The Trail House usually rents bicycles, that is not available this summer due to the pandemic. Visitors should bring their own bicycles to ride.
For a break from the outdoors, step back in time a century ago at the Billy Sunday Home.
“What we have here is a house built in 1911 and all the furnishings belonged to the original occupants, which is most unusual. Everything in the house was theirs. It’s just like Mrs. Sunday went out to lunch,” Terry White, the town historian and a professor at Grace College, said.
(watch the videos below to see parts of the Billy Sunday House tour)
In the early 1900s, Billy Sunday was a pro baseball player turned evangelical preacher.
“Over his lifetime, he spoke to over 100 million people face-to-face. No other human being has done that,” White said.
The Winona History Center, on the campus of Grace College, and The Billy Sunday Home reopened June 18, but tours are only offered Thursday through Saturday through July. Check the website for updated hours.
The Village at Winona lets you live on lake time, one lazy lap at a time.
“It’s a hidden gem. A hidden gem in Indiana,” Wiles-Smith said.