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Loving the Lake Life in LaPorte County

Loving the Lake Life
In LaPorte County

Water, water everywhere! Picture matchless moments on a blue-sky day in, on, and next to a great inland sea or quiet lake. You’re floating in Lake Michigan just off the shore of Michigan City, waterskiing on Pine Lake in LaPorte, or dropping a line in quiet, lesser-known waters where the fishing is superb.

Evening cruises, Great Lakes charter fishing, kayaking a water trail, kite surfing, or just sunbathing and beachcombing on a sandy shore create endless vacation relaxation on a getaway to LaPorte County. Located in Northern Indiana, the county stretches south from Lake Michigan’s shore and boasts a multitude of inland lakes too. Get to know our watery wonders.

Experience Lake Michigan

Beach Time Bliss – A breathtaking breadth of blue Great Lake waters stretch endlessly to the horizon at Washington Park’s lakeside beach in Michigan City. Two miles of powder-soft sand invites swimmers, sunbathers, beachcombers, and sandcastle-builders to the Lake Michigan shore. Adding to the summertime scene, the 1904 East Light stands like a guardian just offshore, boats come and go from nearby marinas, and tree-shaded Washington Park backs the beach with picnic tables and activities.

Catch of a Lifetime – You’ll earn top bragging rights with your friends back home when you whip out pictures of you and a prize catch of Coho or Chinook salmon. Fishing dreams come true on half- and full-day jaunts aboard sleek crafts with professional charter boat captains who know just where the fish are biting in Lake Michigan. The waters teem with the salmon, as well as steelhead, lake trout, brown trout, yellow perch and smallmouth bass. The excursions include bait, licenses, lures, poles, and even cleaning and fileting your catch at the end of the trip.

Kayaking Challenge – If kayaking is your passion, you can get a fascinating perspective of the Lake Michigan shoreline along Indiana’s 75-mile portion of the 1,638-mile Lake Michigan Water Trail, which stretches around the entirety of Lake Michigan. The Indiana portion, from just south of Chicago to the Michigan border, includes views of white sand beaches, towering dunes, and forested bluffs. You can rent a kayak from Harbor Country Adventures in Michigan City and access the trail at Washington Park.

Cruising Escapades – Take in the lovely Lake Michigan scenery while a skilled captain drives the boat on one of Harbor Country Adventures’ numerous cruises, from sedate to lively. Embark on a daytime cruise, a sunset excursion, or festive music and dancing on the Saturday Night Party Cruise. If you’re up for some thrills, the Sea Rocket tour combines smooth-sailing narration with some high-speed runs.

Thrill Seeking – Fly on and above the waves on an extreme sport that’s gaining in popularity – kite boarding/surfing. Learn how to maneuver with the wind as a kite lets you skim the water and soar above it. Take a lesson or rent equipment from Stoke Riders in Michigan City for adventure on Lake Michigan.

Pleasures Await at LaPorte Lakes

Beachside Bonanzas

Everyone from vacationers to local residents with a day off pack up and settle in at the sandy public beaches of Pine Lake and Stone Lake in LaPorte. The fishing is great too.

Pine Lake – Settle in for an afternoon or a weeklong vacation on a lake known for its great fishing, sandy beaches, and clear water. Spend the day at Soldiers Memorial Park, complete with a beach, lifeguards, playground, and restrooms. Dive into the waves. Walk the trail next to the shore. Marinas rents everything from pontoons to fishing boats to wakeboards, jet skis, and tubes for even more fun on the water. A new Oasis Splash Pad draws families to Unity Park, where anglers fish off the seawall. The park is also a great place to watch sunsets. Plenty of private lakeside cottages are available for rent around the lake. Or book a room at the Blue Heron Inn, where the Boardwalk Beach Bar & Grill is a popular place for food and fun.

Stone Lake – Swimming and fishing provide the big draw to this sandy-bottom, clear-water lake, smaller and somewhat quieter than adjoining Pine Lake. The sandy beach includes concessions and playground equipment for your time sunning on the shore. It’s not surprising to see a sand volleyball game going on at the beach. Because of a wake speed limit, Stone Lake is a popular place for canoeing and kayaking.

Fishing Lake Surprises

If fishing is your game, several public lakes in LaPorte County are just waiting. In addition to Stone and Pine lakes (listed above) Anglers in the know drop lines for bluegill, largemouth bass, catfish, crappie, and more in small lakes that dot the landscape around the community of LaPorte. These inland lakes also provide havens for spotting water fowl, including ducks, and geese, migrating terns and grebes, and occasionally a loon or two.

Clear Lake – Fish from your boat or the shore at this lake just outside LaPorte for catches that include bluegill and bass. But it’s not only anglers who head to this 106-acre body of water. Canoers and kayakers like to paddle between two clumps of bald cypress in the middle of the lake for up-close looks. The Clear Lake Trail along the shore in Fox Park, draws bicyclists, joggers, and walkers. Future plans include a trail circling the entire lake.

Other Lakes – Don’t miss a handful of other lakes for prime fishing and waterfowl watching. Many do not have boat ramps.

Fish Lake – This 275-acre lake draws anglers to fish for bluegill, largemouth bass, Northern pike and walleye.

Fishtrap Lake – Near the northeast corner of Clear Lake, for crappie, bluegill and redear sunfish. In the spring and fall, Ring-neck ducks and black terns can be spotted overhead.

Horseshoe Lake – Covered in lily pads, this lake is located just north of Fishtrap.

Hudson Lake – A new public boat launch is a much-welcomed amenity to a lake known for largemouth bass, Northern pike and Warmouth. The new ramp, on the lake’s northwest corner, drops off quickly into deeper water, making it easier to launch larger boats. There is also an ADA floating pier.

Lily Lake and Orr Lake – Waters teeming with rainbow trout, arctic Grayling and brook trout draw casters to these little lakes near LaPorte. Experts say chances of scoring big are good whether you are fly fishing, spinning or baitcasting.

Insider Tip: Love the lake life? Don’t miss the annual LaPorte LakeFest, scheduled for July 29-31, 2022, on Pine, Stone, and Clear lakes. Get ready for three days of family activity, including music, art, food, and the LaPorte AquaX Grand Prix.

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