Life’s Better Here: Noble County

Swimming and fishing at Chain O' Lakes State Park
Swimming and fishing at Chain O' Lakes State Park(WPTA)
Published: Jul. 22, 2022 at 3:29 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - There’s plenty to see and do in Noble County and if you’re someone who enjoys spending time outside or you want to take the family to a nearby beach, you’ll definitely want to take a trip to Chain O’ Lakes State Park.

Formed by glaciers over 15,000 years ago during the Ice Age, which eventually melted, a series of lakes connected by small creeks and rivers became what is known now as Chain o’ Lakes State Park, and the lakes will certainly be the focal point of any trip to the park.

If you’re up for a challenge, you can kayak from one end to the other of all nine lakes, Bbut a nice calm fishing trip is also a fun time.

The park is so much more than just a boater’s paradise. Carlynn Cornhill, an Interpretive Naturalist with the Indiana DNR, says it’s a great place to get outside with the whole family.

She said “For a family with children, there’s the playgrounds. A lot of people will go to the beach. The beach is an excellent opportunity for kid to get out and play in the water.”

Of course with nine connected lakes and 12 total, there’s plenty to do on the water, but if it’s dry land activities you’re searching for, the state park has those, too.

You can explore the park year-round through 28 miles of trails. In the wintertime, you can bring your skis for cross country skiing. But if you don’t know where to start, Cornhill has some suggestions.

“My favorite trail, it changes based on season. {Trail} twelve at this time of year is definitely my favorite,” Cornhill said. “There’s some really beautiful creek crossings and buckeye trees, which I have not been able to find anywhere else in the park. In the fall and winter, though, would definitely be trail six. In the fall when the leaves start changing, it’s a lot of maple forests. So, they are absolutely gorgeous. In the spring, there’s some really good early spring wildflowers on that trail as well.”

LEARN MORE about Chain O’ Lakes State Park

Down the street in Downtown Albion, an attraction of a different kind gives you a look at the history of Noble County.

Built in 1876, the old jail is the oldest public building in the county. In operation until 1968, the jail was home to the sheriff and all the prisioners who lived there.

Their most famous prisoner? Noble County Historical Society President Bill Shultz says it was a man called Marvin Kuhns.

“Marvin Kuhns has spent some time in and out of here. He has escaped here. He’s the only one who’s ever broke out of jail here...Marvin was thief, he was a horse thief and he spent a lot of time going back and forth to Ohio, taking horses down to a barn down the street here and they’d go in brown and come in black and white, and then off he’d go to Ohio.”

Now, the jail is home to historical artifacts from across Noble County.

The museum houses military relics dating back to the revolutionary war. One of their most prized items is from 1760.

A note, etched in slate by a person who was believed to be kidnapped by a local native tribe. They left the note along a trail, but it wasn’t found until 120 years later.

Now, you can see the note, along with a lot of Noble County history at the old jail .

If you would like to spend the day at Chain O’ Lakes State Park, price of admission is $7. If you’re out of state, the cost is $9. Other activities will cost extra, those prices can be found here.

The Old Jail Museum in Albion is open on Saturdays from 1:30-4:30 pm. However, if you’re a large group, you can call ahead and they can open the museum for you any time. Cost of admission is $3.

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