Artisans, crafters, farmers, chefs and shopkeepers from across northern Indiana celebrated the launch of the 2012 Art & Earth Trail Thursday, June 14 at Coppes Commons in Nappanee, Ind.
The event kicked off a new season for the Northern Indiana Art & Earth Trail, a network of more than 150 studios, galleries, farmers’ markets, quaint lodgings and specialty shops throughout Porter, LaPorte, St. Joseph, Marshall, Elkhart, Kosciusko and LaGrange counties. The trail is an initiative of the Northern Indiana Tourism Development Commission and its partner convention and visitors bureaus and serves as a guide for travelers and residents looking to discover northern Indiana’s rich and diverse heritage.
“Everyone wants to discover a place that is truly unique. In a world of chain stores and replication, we hear requests over and over from both local folks and those visiting the area for recommendations about places that reflect truly local flavor,” says NITDC Executive Director Dan Bearss. “The Art and Earth Trail provides a guide to places people might otherwise overlook.”
The trail is made up of seven loops, one for each of the participating counties, and includes maps and information about the unique businesses located on each loop. Locations on the Art & Earth Trail were selected according to strict criteria and had to be authentic, easily accessible and reflective of northern Indiana. The resulting trail guide features galleries and shops that emphasize art or crafts produced in northern Indiana; specialty growers, farms, and nurseries that sell indigenous and heirloom plants; and restaurants and inns that are locally owned, non-franchise establishments.