Every autumn, as the days get shorter, trees produce spectacular displays of color as the green chlorophyll in their leaves breaks down. The red, purple, orange, yellow and brown shades reflect the great diversity of more than 3 dozen tree species within LaPorte County Parks.
Fall is in the air at the LaPorte County Parks! For many, fall is the best time to visit the parks. Whether it’s hiking in the woods, taking a leisurely stroll on a paved trail for fall color views, or attending the many great activities and events that the park’s Environmental Education staff has to offer, the autumn season is sure to bring enjoyment to all. Over the next few weeks the colors will illuminate the county.
Splashes of red and yellow accent warm brown and faded green leaves. Area trees are blazoned with color, signaling fall. While out enjoying the fall colors throughout our county, thank about what trees bring us such beautiful colors. Similar trees with these great colors may be sugar and red maples.
For those yellow ones out there they are our hickory and birch. How about our state tree, the Tulip Popular is sporting it’s pretty golden yellow as well. Various oaks fill up the brown portion of the spectrum, although red oak and scarlet oak are true to their names in a good season.
How about those pretty star-shaped leave that seem to turn every color would be a sweet gum. The boast purples, reds and yellows sometimes all on one leaf. The dogwood are those purple/red leaf.
Bright orange and red-orange are sassafras and staghorn sumac. This landscape has a dazzling fall show.
Visit the LaPorte County Parks and celebrate the four distinct parks natural heritage and ecological diversity of northern Indiana. All of our parks are open daily 7 a.m. to sunset.
Bluhm County Park, 3855 S. CR 1100 West, Westville; this 96-acre park includes spring wildflowers, upland forest, wetland, prairie and stocked pond. Enjoy miles of paved accessible trails, picnic shelter rentals, playground, volleyball court, horseshoe pit, mountain biking, horseback trails and a no-leash dog area.
Creek Ridge County Park, 7943 W. 400 North, Michigan City; this 112-acre park features a variety of nature trails along with paved trails, accessible boardwalk to Trail Creek and fishing access on Trail Creek for trout and salmon. Picnic shelter rentals, grills, no-leash dog area, volleyball court, horseshoe pit, playground and a 9-hole disc golf course featuring both 3 and 4 par holes with fairways ranging from 190-400 feet. Birding is excellent and woodpeckers can be seen year-round.
Luhr County Park, 3178 S. CR 150 West, LaPorte; this 89 acre is located south of LaPorte and features four ecosystems; upland forest, wetland, prairie and stocked pond, open to fishing. There is a variety of nature trails, including paved trails, picnic shelter rentals, no-leash dog area, public restrooms, playground, grills, volleyball court, horseshoe pit, and a Nature Center. Seasonal home to many resident and migratory birds.
Red Mill County Park, 0185 S. Holmesville Road, LaPorte, this 160-acre park offers hiking, mountain biking, fishing, picnic areas, playground, volleyball net, horseshoe pit, and public restrooms. Includes 108-acre state dedicated nature preserve and headwaters to the Little Calumet River as well as Pat Smith Hall and a Environmental Education Center; host to banquet rental’s for wedding receptions, family reunions, graduation parties, meetings, and showers. The wetlands provide for a multitude of waterfowl species, great blue and green herons, as well as seasonal sand hill cranes.
See how many you can find this fall. Remember, the best color occurs following sunny days and cool, but not, freezing nights. Here are some samplings.
Sugar Maple: Red, Orange. Oct.
Sweet Gum: Yellow, Red, Purple. End of Oct.
Red Maple: Red. Sept/Oct.
Black Gum – Scarlet. Early Oct.
European Larch – (a deciduous conifer) – Gold. End of Oct and Nov.
Want to stay even more updated on park happenings, park news, and more? Become a fan of the LaPorte County Park’s Facebook page. Contact the park office to begin receiving our quarterly park newsletter; “The Naturally Speaking” 219.325.8315 or visit us on line at www.lapotecountyparks.org