If you need a reason to wander the rural backroads of Indiana, try “road farming” … driving around looking at fields lush with corn, soybeans and more. Grab your sunglasses, roll down the car windows or hop on a registered four-wheeler and explore the roads between the fields. No destination. No plan. No schedule. Only breathing the fresh country air and slowing down to enjoy life.

Cornfields line the winding roads of Parke County, where corn and soybeans are the top agricultural crops.

Heading into Parke County on a random backroad, pinkish-brown and golden brown sorghum heads stretch out across the horizon. At harvest time, the thick stalks are crushed and cooked down into a rich syrup, a sweetener still a celebrated throughout Indiana. There is nothing better for breakfast than a warm buttermilk biscuit dripping with sorghum! Sorghum was a major crop in Indiana until sugar and honey production replaced this widely-produced sweetener.

Sorghum is harvested in the fall. The cane is crushed into juice and cooked down into a thick molasses-like sweetener.

Riding between lush green corn and soybean fields, we cross the covered bridge into Mansfield. Winding through woods and more corn and soybean fields, the Bridgeton Mill is open. Visitors are enjoying fishing and wading in the stream below the covered bridge.

Wandering Parke County, iron bridges from a bygone era dot the landscape. Fallen Rock Road winds south from Rocky Fork Creek along sandstone bluffs and a massive limestone rock that broke away years ago.

The slow pace of road farming allows time to wave to folks, watch fox, wild turkey or deer and explore old cemeteries. Traveling on the four-wheeler, the wind in your face almost breathes for you!

Indiana backroads change every day. They welcome “road farmers” as crops emerge, corn stalks reach “knee-high by the 4th of July,” and harvest approaches. Even in winter, the fields yield a beauty all their own. Take your time – it’s hard to get lost when beauty awaits in around every turn!

The 1880s Mansfield Roller Mill welcomes visitors to experience the mill's original equipment being used to grind wheat and corn.

An old Coca-Cola cooler welcomes visitors to Our Back Porch in Mansfield.

The Bridgeton Covered Bridge can be seen from the mill, which has been in continuous operation for over 180 years.

Able Mitchell Bridge spans Big Raccoon Creek on Mansfield Road northeast of Bridgeton. The bridge was bypassed in 1991.

Fallen Rock Road, lined with sandstone cliffs, skirts by Fallen Rock RV Parke & Campground.

Organic vegetables grow ladder-tall in a high tunnel in rural Parke County.

At the end of the day we were gifted with this bounty from an organic high tunnel in Parke County.

The beauty of sunset over a soybean field brings an exciting day of "road farming" to a peaceful close.

Indiana State Nature Passport

Indiana State Nature Passport

There are 59 destinations on the Indiana State Nature Passport! Check-in and explore participating locations throughout the state to earn great prizes! The more you visit, the more you win. This program is 100% free, but property entrance fees apply when you visit. Learn More.