Photo by Tony Valainis
Several smaller lakes
were flooded in the 1830s to create Webster, a favorite of serious fishermen. The 640-acre lake ranks as one of the best in the state for muskie, but it’s home to perch, bluegill, and crappie as well. Rent a kayak from Socks Marina (60 EMS W17 Ln., North Webster, 574-834-2894) or a pontoon boat from Fisherman Cove (340 E. Huntington St., 574-834-2518). On certain Saturdays, the best thing to catch is the free water-ski performance by the Ski-Bees, a spectacle since 1953.
No visit to Webster would be complete without a trip on Dixie (888-803-4943). The 89-year-old paddleboat’s days as the mail carrier are gone, but you can tour the lake on it by boarding at North Webster Town Park (401 S. Dixie Dr.).
The town itself is almost as sweet. The Mermaid Festival—less a celebration of mermaids and more of a county fair—gathers the community in late June. And the Dixie Day Festival on July 28 offers a juried artisan show, antiques tent, tractor pull, and 5K. Even if you manage not to spill festival food on your shirt, it’s worth a trip to Hardy’s Laundromat & Mini Golf (624 N. Main St., 574-834-1382) for a quirky round of putt-putt. North Webster also hosts some great antiques and consignment shops, including the Heart of the Lakes Antique Mall (132 N. Main St., 574-834-3000) and Judy’s Deja Vu (106 W. Huntington St., 574-518-0826). Dining options are limited, but Maria’s House of Pancakes (104 E. Esterbrook Dr., 574-834-4400) is a solid greasy spoon and Hepler’s Farm Market (612 N. Main St., 574-834-1222) is a great place for fresh produce to prepare your own meals.
If you’re up for a day trip, the Pisgah Marsh Area (C.R. 350 N., Pierceton) is a 445-acre nature preserve just 10 minutes north. A boardwalk winds into the wetland, home to sandhill cranes, beavers, and deer. It all feels far away from the motorboats of Webster—yet it’s close enough that you’ll be back for an evening cruise.