Though fourth-generation dairy farmer Jim King and his wife, Angel, craft the artisanal cheeses at Blue Jacket Dairy, it’s fair to say that the creamery is a fifth-generation family business. The youngest members of the King clan are already hard at work sticking labels on finished wedges of cheddar, quark, and mozzarella. The King family uses small-scale equipment to produce both fresh and aged cheeses, including its signature Gretna Grilling—a semisoft, halloumi-style cheese made with pasteurized whole milk. In addition to chèvre, mozzarella, and feta cheeses, Blue Jacket’s team makes small batches of Fresh Cheddar Curds, which it prepares plain or flavored with dill, chipotle, garlic, or ranch.
Indian Lake Outfitters is the brainchild of outdoors enthusiast Bryan—known as “the buyer” to his staff—and business expert Brenda—who’s known as “the brains”. But the husband and wife team acknowledge that, as long as their daughter Bostyn— “the boss”—is around, they’ll never really be in charge. Together, they maintain a climate-controlled, indoor archery range and stock the shelves of their store with outdoor electronics, clothing, and gear to fulfill customers’ hunting, fishing, camping, and boating needs. Posters line the walls of the archery range, where customers pull back bowstrings and sling arrows at targets, or attempt to shoot metaphorical arrows of love at their dates. Every third Thursday, Indian Lake Outfitters hosts an archery night for women.
Medlab's teams of medical professionals quantify and assess important bodily systems at locations throughout a five-state Midwest region. Trained to work with patients of all ages, phlebotomists deftly retrieve blood with minimal discomfort, then process the samples to analyze vital statistics such as cholesterol, glucose levels, and sodium. Wait times that average 10 minutes free up precious time for patients.
Pretty Muddy's founders designed their 5K obstacle course with a simple goal: to provide a stress-free opportunity for women to cut loose and have a blast in the mud with their friends. Women run or walk at their own pace, encountering low-pressure architectural obstacles along the way that are devoid of hay, splintering plywood, and axe-wielding trolls. The finishers sport post-race looks ranging from mud-drenched to only lightly splattered, depending on their course strategies.
Though the course architects designed obstacles to be fun, Pretty Muddy team members are stationed at each one to provide assistance, and obliging signs point out alternative routes for those who’d rather keep walking. The team often reminds participants that it isn’t about how many obstacles they surmount, but about sucking every drop of fun out of the experience.
At least two aid stations are present on every Pretty Muddy course to keep everyone well hydrated. After they finish, muddy ladies can compete for costume prizes, grab a drink and listen to the music, or free themselves of icky attire at onsite rinsing and changing stations.
The Haunted Trail of Horror channels bone-chilling monsters, specters, and spirits confirmed by expert mediums into acres of spine-tingling woodlands. Located next to a cemetery, the trail plays out 18 different scenes that feature such haunts as headless zombies, evil clowns, and the vengeful ghosts of the ants that were slain in your childhood sandbox. Hazy fog and eerie webs drape the wooded path as visitors sneak past iconic movie haunts and cursed headstones. Upon approaching the haunted oaks, the Tunnel of Doom flashes black lights and strobe lights to warn guests of the ensuing spirits. The haunted experience is not intended for children, pregnant women, those with breathing problems, or those with evil-beagle familiars.
A collection of adrenaline-pumping ziplines whoosh through the forest on Markin Farms Zipline Adventures’ 80-acre farm. The multilevel platforms, built high in the trees, connect the course’s ziplines, which pass above bubbling creeks, over ponds, and through time. The scenic course includes challenge areas and ends with a double-zip setup, where two riders race to the finish directly above or below one another, overlooking the sparkling water. The farm also offers specialty zips that glide through the forest after twilight or just as the sun sets.