High Points: Hoosier Hill, Indiana

A fitting place to ponder the true meaning of the term Hoosier.

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The Peak: 1,257 feet

It may be dark, it may be foggy, you may have lost a contact lens; it would still be hard to miss the Hill, the pride of plywood-flat Wayne County. Park by the lone wooded area on broom-handle-straight Elliott Road, walk west for 50 yards, and turn right at the pile of car tires. You’ll be facing a grove of trees surrounded by barbwire. The crux of the climb is five steel steps that take you up, over, and down the fence to a clearing where two benches chained to trees provide an excellent view of the high point sign and a pile of rocks. It’s a fitting place to ponder the true meaning of the term Hoosier. A half-dozen theories exist, but we like Dave Barry’s best: “For all we know,” he writes, “Hoosier could be a Native American word for ‘has sex with caribou.'”

The Path

Did you know that Cyrus Pemberton of Fairmount, IN, invented the ice cream cone in 1904

from dough molded on a lathe? Or that Elkhart’s Dr. Franklin Miles co-invented Alka-Seltzer? You will by the time you emerge from McMaze, an 11-acre corn labyrinth sprouting signs bearing Hoosier trivia at the Dougherty Orchards in Cambridge City. In years past, the Doughertys have cut trails that form aerial images of hoops star Larry Bird, Colts QB Peyton Manning, and an ear of corn. In 2003, they sculpted a toothy 675-foot likeness of native son David Letterman (see them all at www.doughertyorchards.com). The maze is open from July to December.

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