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The mystery rest park

I drove past something unexpected while I was visiting northern Indiana last weekend: a state-run rest area that wasn’t on an interstate highway. The “INDOT Thornhope Rest Park”, an undocumented parcel in an unincorporated hamlet in a township with no incorporated towns and a population of fewer than 1000 people.

No restrooms or other facilities, just a pull-off that allows free overnight camping.


What I find particularly curious is that, as far as INDOT’s website is concerned, it doesn’t exist. The only reference I’ve found to it is a website for searching for campsites.

One of the great things about the Internet is that we have this vast library of information about what currently exists, but the gaps of information about what used to exist are even more vast.


Probably Indiana funded rest areas statewide before interstate highways existed, but good luck finding information about them. Perhaps this is the last of its breed. Maybe there are a dozen still lurking in hamlets around the state, but as someone who has spent countless hours roaming the back roads and highways, I doubt it.

Anyone else find any rest areas that aren’t on interstates in your neck of the woods?

Illustration for article titled The mystery rest park
Screenshot: Apple Maps

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