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Gibson Woods

     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.

     FOR Gibson Woods Nature Preserve Activities, Click HERE!
     For information about Gibson Woods call 219-844-3188 or email, located at 6201 Parrish Ave, Hammond, rsvp 769-PARK.

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Discover Northwest Indiana’s nature habitats with biodiverse beaches, woods, prairies, and marshes offering hiking, biking, birding, Parks and Recreation, Gardening and Landscaping and Lake Michigan.


Sue Baxter