Exploring area farmer’s markets by bike

Barb Ruess Times Correspondent

Source: nwitimes

Farmer’s markets are always popular destinations in the summer. Their fresh, healthy fare gives a true taste of the NWI region. Why not give your trip an even healthier twist by biking to and from the market? Did you know a number of region markets are within a mile of a bike trail? Don’t forget to strap a basket to your bike, bring a backpack to haul away your goodies or plan to eat there! Many of these markets offer the perfect spot for a snack or light meal in the middle of your ride.

Griffth’s Central Market, Fridays 3 – 8 p.m. through October 10

One of the newest farmer’s markets in the region, the Griffith Central Market has already carved out a niche for itself as a family-friendly, fun Friday night.

One of the newest farmer’s markets in the region, the Griffith Central Market has already carved out a niche for itself as a family-friendly, fun Friday night.

Where: Central Park on Pine Street

Get there from: the Erie-Lackawanna trail which crosses Pine St. – go half a mile east to the market.

One of the newest farmer’s markets in the region, the Griffith Central Market has already carved out a niche for itself as a family-friendly, fun Friday night. Market Manager, Kathy Ruesken is excited about the growth they’ve seen in attendance and vendors, “This is not your ordinary farmer’s market. We searched the region for the some of the best musical talent. The food that is available for on the spot dining is wide in variety and high in quality, the same goes for food items that are packaged to go. We sell imported wines and regional crafted beers and we provide a large family dining area, well-secured and well-managed. And the music is free, no cover charge!”

Griffith's Central Market open on Fridays from 3-8p.m.

Griffith’s Central Market open on Fridays from 3-8p.m.

Being so close to the bike trail makes this market very bike-friendly for families. The Griffith Central Market is a great place for families to come enjoy dinner, play on the playground and listen to some live music. In fact, organizers have plans to add more for kids this summer so keep your eyes open for coming additions.

Chesterton’s European Market, Saturdays 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. through the end of October

Where: near Thomas Centennial Park at Broadway and Third Street

Get there from: the Prairie-Duneland trail which ends at Broadway in Chesterton, head east on Broadway for a mile to get to the market.

Worth the ride: Chesterton’s market is known for its impressive variety and hard-to-find items. Organizers note that “artists, chefs, merchants and farmers travel to our Market from across Indiana, Michigan and Illinois to offer visitors an extraordinary collection of products and services including artisan breads and pastries, boutique creamery cheeses, ethnic foods, meats, spices, oils, rare books, clothing, accessories, jewelry and fresh-from-the-farm produce and flowers.” The market also includes live music.

Hobart’s Summer Market on the Lake, Thursdays 3 – 8 p.m. through September 4

Where: Festival Park at 111 East Old Ridge Road

Get there from: the Prairie-Duneland trail. The Trail ends at Cleveland Street. Take Cleveland west to Front Street (left turn) and then turn right on Old Ridge Road. Approximately 1 mile ride from the trail head.

Worth the ride: fresh produce, baked goods, ethnic & gourmet foods, jewelry, handmade crafts, a beer garden and – new this year – weekly bean bag tournaments.

Here are some other bike-friendly markets where you’ll find fresh produce, flowers, baked goods and more:

Crown Point Farmer’s Market, Saturdays 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. through the end of September

Where: on Main Street just south of the Court House square

Get there from: the Erie-Lackawanna trail which ends at Summit & Court Street. Take Court Street south for about a mile to the square and then one block east to the market.

Town of Munster Farmer’s Market, Sundays 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. through the end of September

Where: Centennial Park

Get there from: the Pennsy Greenway runs right alongside the park

Reder Park Market, Thursdays 3 – 8 p.m. through September 25

Where: Reder Park at Austin & Park Street in Schererville

Get there from: the Pennsy Greenway runs right alongside the park

What are you waiting for – get riding! Please note: For the safety of everyone, walk your bike through the markets if there is no available bike parking.