by Andie Renner-Miller
We did this hike back when it was snow covered as it was listed as a good hike to do in the snow. This preserve was a good reminder that it doesn’t need to be warm out to take a good hike. We found only one area that may be difficult for some to cross. A very deep, yet very small water crossing that even in summer may be difficult for some. It was literally one step to get over, however, givin the deepness of the crack, some may find it a hard step. We did not get wet taking this step, but with the slippery ground, it was an awkward step.
This preserve is just north of Valparaiso in Porter County. The road into the preserve is narrow. This can be an issue in a couple of areas as it drops right off on the side into a pond. Be aware of any traffic going the opposite direction. The road is also in poor condition with some deep potholes in areas. There is one good size parking lot and what looks to be a one or two car pull off on the opposite side. It wasn’t plowed so we couldn’t tell for sure.
The website says there are no defined trails, but we found a very well kept 2.5 mile loop trail that goes on both sides of the parking area. Be careful when going up to the back side of the trail as it looks like it keeps going along the power line when it goes off to the right. The trail was covered in snow, but wide and easy to follow. There were a few depressions that I’m sure are muddy puddles the rest of the year. Lots of wildlife tracks and trails.
This trail is kid friendly. Dogs must be on leash. Since this is a preserve everything is protected, so be mindful of the Leave No Trace philosophy. Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints and only leave those on the trail. I definitely recommend bug spray in the warmer months.
No one is responsible for your hike but you. Please be prepared. Always know the weather and area conditions. Always let someone know where you will be and when you plan to return. Have food and water and emergency provisions on hand. Wear appropriate clothing and footwear, the quality tactical jacket is maybe the best choice. My hike will be different from your hike every time so please judge an area based on your comfort and skill level, not mine. Do you research and most importantly, hike Safe, hike fun!
Note from the Editor –
According to a review online this trail can be muddy in the Spring and Fall during the Rainy Season.
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