Posted on May 7, 2020 by Dina Miller
Northern Indiana’s numerous lakes and rivers offer natural and manmade beauty all summer long that provide opportunities to experience fun and exercise, and yet keep your distance. Be sure to contact the business before visiting to make sure they are open.
Here’s a look at some top outdoor attractions that involve the beautiful lakes and rivers in Indiana’s Cool North:
Where: 200 Heisman Harbor, Michigan City, Indiana
Looking for a family outing that offers more than sitting around and staring at a movie screen? Maybe you’re looking for something to do with the guys from your neighborhood that’s more involved than standing around and watching your kids play soccer. Go ahead and grab some friends and charter a fishing boat in Michigan City. You’ll find salmon, steelhead, Chinook, brown trout and more in the waters of Lake Michigan, among other types of fish. The MCPA lists several individual charter boats for your fresh-water adventure. Call around and see which boat and which captain meets your needs.
Rental rates vary.
Where: 600 N CR-25 E, Chesterton, Indiana
“We’re headed to the Dunes.” It’s a rally cry for many, a statement that signifies summer is here and it’s time to hit the beach. For decades, Chicagoland residents have packed up the kids and coolers and headed to the 15 miles of shoreline just over the state line. Forget about your kids’ faces when they see Mickey Mouse for the first time – check out their expressions when they see a colossal hill of sand inviting them to take a run up and a roll down its majestic mass. More summer memories have been created along Indiana’s shoreline than one can count. If swimming in the pristine waters of Indiana’s claim of Lake Michigan isn’t enough, the Dunes offer trails, parks, sightseeing and more.
Where: 8310 E. 300 N., Mongo, Indiana
Midwestern hunters, fishermen and trappers have been visiting the Pigeon River Valley for decades. The Mongo, Nasby and Ontario reservoirs offer 11,605 acres of land, 529 acres of lakes and impoundments, and 17 miles of rivers, meaning there’s plenty of space and opportunity to interact with Northern Indiana’s unique and prolific wildlife. Type of fish include catfish, crappie, bluegill, Northern pike, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, rough fish, trout and yellow perch while animal species include deer, quail, rabbit, squirrel, waterfowl, dove, pheasant and wild turkey.
Where: 7525 E 300 N., Mongo, Indiana
If you’re looking for a new mode of transportation this summer, consider the canoe or kayak. The Trading Post in Mongo offers several trip options for your on-the-water pleasure, including a 16-mile jaunt. Located on the Pigeon River, Trading Post also offers campsites for those looking to extend their trip. One participant testifies: “The entire trip was beautiful. Rowing down the river with my husband and kids was probably one of the highlights of our year.”
Where: 240 EMS T49 LN, North Webster, Indiana
Kayaking may look intimidating to the uninitiated, but frequent kayakers will tell you that it’s a wonderful form of exercise or relaxation once you give it a try. Novices can turn to Lee’s Kayak Tours for a fun yet controlled foray into the activity. Specializing in family excursions and first-time kayakers, Lee’s patrons find that this scenic trip is just what they need after a week of hustle and bustle.
Where: 126 South Niles Ave., South Bend, Indiana
When: Open Saturdays and Sundays through August 31
Feel like trying a little whitewater rafting without heading to Colorado? Check out one of Northern Indiana’s best-kept secrets, the East Race Waterway, a 1,900-foot waterway located in South Bend. Designed for both novice and experienced rafters, this manmade river cuts through a portion of the city along the St. Joseph River.