Posted on October 1, 2020 by Dina Miller
Indiana’s northern counties have many claims to fame – Notre Dame football, unique Amish communities, the Gateway Mile – but did you know that the region also has trails and river walks perfect for wandering? From Homesteads in the Dunes to leisurely walks along the rivers, the great outdoors is just as eclectic as each county. See where your feet can take you to explore new communities and scenic views that you have always hurried past! Here’s your adventure guide to those walking adventures in Indiana’s Cool North.
Historic sites that were once a fur-trading post and an 1800’s farm are close together, and perfect for leisurely walks and learning about the history of the early residents in the region.
Nestled within the boundaries of the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk, you’ll find a fully enclosed pavilion offering seasonal food services and convenient restrooms. Additionally, there’s a wheelchair-accessible trail, a fishing pier, and a kayak launch, ensuring accessibility for all. For those interested in fishing, bird watching, or simply taking in the scenic views, a breakwater has been established to provide effortless access to these activities.
There are a number of parks on The Gateway Mile including a winding waterside path that connects the Garden and Arts & Entertainment Districts with a leisurely stroll lined with quilt gardens, sculptures, and welcoming green spaces. Find other parks across Elkhart County where you can hike or wander at your own pace.
When the summer months hit and you’re dying to feel soft, white sand between your toes, look no further than the sunny shores of Lake Michigan at Washington Park Beach.
When you’re in a nearly 4,000-acre state park in Indiana’s Cool North, you’re going to have some excellent opportunities for hiking. Potato Creek State Park is one of the best destinations for hiking, paved path and trail biking, picnicking, horseback riding, fishing, and camping.
Grab some coffee and donuts for a morning breakfast at lovely Battell Park, which hugs the St. Joseph River in South Bend’s sister community of Mishawaka. The park is on the city’s Riverwalk and features a beautiful terraced rock garden, splashpad, picnic tables and playground equipment.
Whiting Lakefront Park is perfect for strolling along the waterfront — you might even be able to see the Chicago skyline. There are 15 acres of play areas, including tennis courts, a baseball diamond and fishing pier. Or if you prefer relaxing outdoors, sit by the fish pond and waterfall.