Tucked away in the heart of the industrial Region of Northwest Indiana is an island of nature with some very unusual features. This 131-acre parcel of virtually “undisturbed” land is known as Gibson Woods Nature Preserve . . . a Lake County Park.
Gibson Woods is one of the last sizeable remnant of high quality dune and swale topography remaining in the Midwest. Because of the widespread urbanization and industrialization in Northwest Indiana, this type of topography and its associated natural communities have been almost entirely eliminated. The rare environment, surrounded by urban development, was preserved because it was part of railroad property of the Gibson Yards.
The dune and swale features of the preserve were produced after the last glacier created ancient Lake Chicago, the forerunner of Lake Michigan. The parallel sand ridges still found in Gibson Woods today represent the effect of Lake Chicago as it retreated thousands of years ago.
Black oak savanna dominates the dune ridge. The sandy soil supports tallgrass prairie composed of native wildflowers and grasses such as Big and Little Bluestem, Prairie Cordgrass, Indian Grass, Fringed Gentians, Yellow Coneflower, Nodding Lady’s Tresses and a host of others. More than 300 species of plants have been identified in the preserve, several of which are considered threatened or endangered. Gibson woods also has:
For your convenience, there’s Barrier free toilet, Gift shop, Group tours, Hiking trails, Interpretive staff, Environmental Awareness Center, School group tours, Toilets (flush), Wildlife viewing area.
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Hammond Hosts Share the Love for Valentine’s
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The Pavilion at Wolf Lake,
Hammond Bird Sanctuary,
Gibson Woods Environmental Center,
18th Street Distillery,
Festival of the Lakes,
Challenger Learning Center,
Indiana welcome Center.
Gibson Woods Nature Preserve
Festival of the Lakes Car Show
Autumn Colors Craft Show
El Taco Real, Famous Mexican Restaurant
It’s Just Serendipity Shopping Experience
Aquatic Play Center
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