Chesterton, Indiana, offers plenty of beautiful natural scenery to explore. The next time you’re ready to get outside and see what the area has to offer, make plans to discover the numerous things you can do at these parks and preserves around Chesterton.
Indiana Dunes National Park
Located just a few miles north of Chesterton on the shores of Lake Michigan sits Indiana Dunes National Park. If you’re interested in discovering some peaceful solitude, you’ll find it in this 15,000-acre park. You can head out on some of the 50 miles of trails to enjoy everything from hardwood forests to rolling sand dunes. Or, load up your bike and head out on the 37-mile interconnected biking trail system. The park also offers a variety of opportunities for swimming, going to the beach, fishing, picnicking, and other water activities.
Coffee Creek Watershed Preserve
The 157-acre Coffee Creek Watershed Preserve protects an area of woodlands, wetlands, and prairies. Since the preserve is situated a few miles from Lake Michigan in Chesterton, it’s a popular resting spot for migratory birds and a great place for birdwatchers to visit. The preserve is also a top destination for outdoor enthusiasts. You can explore the miles of hiking trails, photograph some of the 400 native plant species and abundant wildlife that call the preserve home, or check out the fishing in the creek.
If you take a quick trip a few miles west to Portage, you’ll discover the 276-acre Imagination Glen. The park contains two sand volleyball courts, softball and soccer complexes, picnic shelters, open play space, and playgrounds. However, the real draw is the 10-mile Outback Mountain Bike Trail. The trail offers two sections: The Front Side for beginners and the Dark Side for experienced riders. No matter which trail you pick, you’ll enjoy plenty of twists, turns, quick climbs, and short drops that are sure to keep you busy.
Moraine Nature Preserve
Just south of Chesterton in Valparaiso is the 814-acre Moraine Nature Preserve. The preserve protects one of the few remaining large blocks of forest left in northwest Indiana. If you’re looking for an easy place to hike, this is a great spot to consider. As you hike through the preserve, you’ll pass through remnants of old-growth oak and hickory forests and old farm fields reverting back to wilderness. The area is rich with wildflowers, and the ponds, wetlands, and forests are home to all types of wildlife.
If you’re looking to get outside and have some fun, you’ll find a variety of activities to enjoy at Rogers-Lakewood Park in Valparaiso. The 122-acre park has trails for hiking and biking. You can use the boat ramp to head out on Spectacle Lake or Loomis Lake to try your hand at fishing. You can also enjoy a game at the disc golf course or have a meal outside at the picnic area.
Whether you’re looking to go for a hike or delight in some time on the water, these parks and preserves near Chesterton make it easy to spend some quality time outside.