School's out - it's finally summer! It may seem like you've got tons of time to enjoy the season, but don't forget that summer is fleeting - you don't want miss out on any potential fun! It's not just kids that enjoy the traditional joys of summer. Hot, sunny days call for three things - 1) playing in the water 2) indulging in sweet, frozen treats and 3) enjoying the wind in your hair!
Here are a few great ideas for where to cool off in Morgan County when things start to heat up this summer...
Splash Around at a Pool or Creek
Jimmy Nash City Park Pool & Splash Pad
Martinsville's Jimmy Nash City Park is always fun with several play areas, shelters, a short paved trail and a longer loop hiking trail, but on these hottest days of the year, you'll want to head straight for the pool. On the left, just after you enter the park, the pool area includes two twisty waterslides, and a children's play area with tippy bucket. As an added bonus (or a reason to visit all on its own), the adjacent Splash Pad is free!
Pioneer Park Aquatic Center & Creek Access
Mooresville's Pioneer Park features both a fun family aquatic center, complete with water slides, a splash pad and concessions, and also public access to the East Fork of White Lick Creek. You'll find the Aquatic Center in the northern half of the park, not too far from the Park Office. To access the creek, you'll want to drive around the park loop to the trails area and park near the covered bridge. The park also features shelters, play grounds and paved trails as well.
Burkhart Creek Park
Owned and operated by Morgan County Parks, Burkhart Creek Park is a fun, rural nature park that features multiple trails, shelters, a small play area and, most importantly during the summer heat, easy access to Burkhart Creek. The creek is very shallow and is the perfect place for little ones to do some creek stomping. Bring water shoes to protect those little feet! Be sure to keep an eye out for wildlife, including a wide variety of songbirds, deer and even the occasional snake (just keep your distance).
Enjoy the River
Enjoy a leisurely day floating down the White River in a canoe or kayak, or just enjoy a day at the river. Canoes or kayaks can be put in the water at public access areas near Waverly, Henderson Ford Road and Paragon. You can also access the river from the sandbar along the White River Greenway Trail inside Old Town Waverly Park. The sandbar creates a river access site that's relatively shallow and easy to navigate. It's a great place to skip rocks, splash around and spend some time exploring!
Cool Down with a Frozen Treat
A Martinsville favorite, Brain Chillz is located on East Morgan Street with a wide variety of shaved ice flavors, ice cream and even some tasty lunch or dinner options. Their large patio offers convenient outdoor seating to enjoy those chilly treats, and be sure to take a photo of the kiddo's - they've always got a fun photo op set up.
Bran N Shorts Coffee House
This fun coffeehouse also offers ice cream! Stop in at Bran N Shorts on Main Street in Mooresville to cool off with your choice of several flavors of hand dipped, creamy goodness! You'll also find cakes, pies, muffins and other baked goodies along with some of the best gourmet coffee in town.
Chunky Monkey Ice Cream & Sweets
A Mooresville favorite, Chunky Monkey Ice Cream and Sweets is features a variety of hand dipped ice cream flavors and other sweet treats! (Go for the chocolate dipped waffle cones when they have them, filled with your favorite flavor of ice cream. Some even have sprinkles!) They do have some outdoor seating and even a party room if your group wants some privacy.
A summertime tradition on Martinsville, this traditional, outdoor ice cream stand is the perfect way to end a day of summer fun (or enjoy a cool-down break in the middle of all that fun)! The Inside Scoop is famous for flurries featuring a variety of mix-ins in soft serve ice cream, shakes, sundaes and even hand-dipped flavors are all local favorites, as well as ice-cold cherry or vanilla cokes. Seating is available on site at outdoor picnic tables.
Martinsville Candy Kitchen
If an outdoor ice cream stop just won't cut it, head for the Martinsville Candy Kitchen to enjoy your ice cream creations in air conditioned comfort! The soda fountain provides tasty, old-fashioned vanilla and cherry cokes, plus they've got dozens of varieties of hand dipped ice cream flavors you can enjoy from a cone or cup. Milkshakes and sundaes are always a hit as well, and don't pass up their fudge brownie sundae! Of course, you can always indulge in any of their regular candy offerings as well - they even have a special case of sugar-free candy so everyone can enjoy a treat!
Mooresville Tropical Snow
A Mooresville tradition for more then 35 years, Tropical Snow on High Street serves up shaved ice, ice cream and milk shakes in 40+ flavors! Limited seating available on site at picnic tables.
This hometown, locally owned eatery started as an ice cream shop! They now also serve up burgers, sandwiches, fries, onion rings and more! Located in Paragon, the TrackSide's got everything you expect from a small town ice cream stop, plus tasty lunch and dinner options and several fun, unique creations like the "cookie cruiser" and "smores parfait."
Enjoy the Wind in Your Hair
Soaring Eagle Zip Line
Don't discount the cooling off potential of a speed-generated breeze on a hot summer day! If you're looking to feel the wind in your hair, the Soaring Eagle Zip Line has you covered. Located inside Pioneer Park in Mooresville, this zip line ride is unique in that you can share the ride with a friend. The two-seat ride allows those who aren't quite ready for a full on zip line harness experience to sample the feeling of flying through the air in a secure seat, with or without a companion.
Country Roads are Made for Cruisin'
Motorcycle, Jeep and convertible enthusiasts can all agree that sometimes a drive in the country with the wind in your hair is the perfect answer to hot summer days. Morgan County has a variety of scenic roads that are just perfect for a country drive. The dappled sunlight streaming through the overhanging trees combine with the breeze to create a sometimes-magical experience. We recommend driving through Morgan-Monroe State Forest, exploring the county roads between Martinsville and Morgantown, or heading west toward Hunter's Honey Farm and the tiny Wilbur Corner Shop. Please do keep in mind, these are rural roads - be aware and cautious as you will encounter farm machinery, bicycles, family pets, playing children and, occasionally livestock or wildlife.