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Outdoor Adventures

The Great Escape – Outdoor Adventure Thrives in LaPorte County

Sunny days, fresh air, and unlimited opportunities for activity in the great out-of-doors signal that it’s time to plan that getaway filled with just about any outdoor adventure you can imagine. Lake Michigan and its sandy beaches lure visitors to LaPorte County, but you can relish plenty of other outdoor pleasures during your stay – on the Great Lake and inland as well.

If your dream vacation wouldn’t be complete without loading up the bicycles, golf clubs or hiking boots, bring them along! LaPorte County’s trails and tee-offs are plentiful. Will your vehicle have a kayak on the roof or be pulling a boat on a trailer as you head out for that perfect getaway? Our watery wonders await. You’ll also find plenty of opportunities for renting equipment on clear inland lakes or scheduling a Lake Michigan fishing excursion.

It’s been a long winter – so shake off those cobwebs, get out the shorts and tank tops, and prepare for pure, uninterrupted fresh-air experiences in LaPorte County, a true Northern Indiana gem.

Reel in the Big Ones on a Charter Excursion

Every angler longs to bring home that prize catch, and Michigan City is the place to make that happen. This community along Lake Michigan is known as the “Coho Capital of the World” – and it’s a well-earned nickname! The best news for visitors is that you can hop aboard a charter and head out on waters that offer some of the best Coho and Chinook salmon fishing around, along with lake trout and more. Michigan City’s experienced, licensed captains who operate the charter boats provide the equipment and know-how to help you reel in the big ones. They’re all devoted fishermen themselves and enjoy helping people of all ages and abilities on outings that range from half to full days.

Hit the Bike Trails

With the sun on your face and the breeze at your back, a day traveling by bicycle through Northern Indiana’s green countryside is enjoyment at its finest. You can pedal over 400 miles on mapped-out biking routes that have been established in LaPorte County. These loops travel along quiet roads connecting communities and parks throughout the county.

Both Bluhm County Park in Westville and Red Mill County Park near LaPorte also feature mountain bike trails. If you enjoy a view of sunlight on the water, the trail at Soldiers Memorial Park in LaPorte passes two lakes.

In addition, LaPorte County marks the starting point of United States Bicycle Route System 35 (known as USBR35), a 381-mile cycling route that travels through 16 counties to the southern tip of Indiana. It’s an ideal trail for both amateurs and avid cyclists through iconic farm fields, charming downtowns, and over gently rolling hills. The route ultimately connects with other states.

Paddle or Pontoon

Boaters, anglers, and swimmers head for the town of LaPorte for the ultimate inland lake experience. The community is home to both Pine and Stone lakes, known for their clear water and clean public beaches. The marinas at Pine Lake rent pontoons, jet skis, paddleboards and other watercraft to make your day on the water loads of fun. Stone Lake boasts a beach, kayak rentals, concession stand, and grills for lakeside barbecues. Bass, crappie and other fish abound in both Pine and Stone Lakes, as well as a third – Clear Lake. You can try your luck from the shore or rent fishing boats. If you bring your own craft along, launch spots are available on all the lakes.

In Michigan City, kayakers favor the Lake Michigan Water Trail, a 50-mile stretch along the Lake Michigan Shore with multiple access points, including Washington Park in Michigan City.

Tee Up

Every golfer imagines a vacation destination with the finest of courses. You’ve found your perfect escape in LaPorte County, with four options that draw raves. In LaPorte, three 18-hole golf courses each offer their own unique challenges and amenities for golfers of every skill level. Beechwood Municipal Golf Course’s traditional layout and design allows you to use every club in your bag. Briar Leaf Golf Club is home to “Alcatraz,” the area’s only island green. Legacy Hills Golf Club offers a varied course and great driving range. In Michigan City, play the county’s only 36-hole facility at Michigan City Municipal Golf Course, a local favorite.

Get on Your Skate Park Vibe

Banks, jump boxes, half-pipes, quarter-pipes and more thrills for skateboarders and bikers fill the Michigan City Skate Park. As one of the largest skate parks in the Midwest, this clean, friendly venue encompasses 22,000 square feet with more than 35 different ramps and rails. Located in Michigan City’s Pullman Park, it features the finest equipment available for both skateboarding and biking enthusiasts.

LaPorte’s Thrills & Spills Skate Park is equally fun for the skate board adventurer. This skate park is tucked away in Fox Memorial Park, has a number of ramps and rails for bikers and skateboarders alike to enjoy a good time outside!

Pick a Local Park for Hiking and More

Talk about getting in touch with nature! LaPorte County Parks feature some 600 acres of forests, meadows and gathering places in four locations. Here’s a rundown: Bluhm County Park, Westville – Walk along nature trails and paved trails through forests, wetlands, and prairie in this park featuring a pond, playground, and a no-leash dog exercise area. Creek Ridge County Park, Michigan City – Visitors traverse boardwalks in a trail system that crosses wetlands and forests where deer, fox, raccoons and other wildlife make their homes. Luhr County Park, LaPorte – Fishing pole rental is available for the stocked pond complete with fishing pier. Enjoy paved trails, boardwalks, an observation tower and a no-leash dog exercise area. Red Mill County Park, LaPorte – Hiking trails abound in this 160-acre park with fishing, a playground, and picnic areas.

And while you’re in the neighborhood, the Indiana Dunes National Park just west of Michigan City features 50 miles of trails that weave through and over rugged dunes and head farther inland where walkways cross watery bogs, and pathways lead through deep forests.

Insider Tip:
Here’s a great way to embrace the outdoors on bicycle or on foot and help a good cause at the same time! The annual Tour de LaPorte, set for Aug. 25-27 in 2023, features a main bicycling event plus activities on foot for both adults and children that range from a half-marathon to a kids fun run. This fundraiser provides financial assistance to LaPorte County residents who need help meeting the costs of participating in healthy living programs at the LaPorte County Family YMCA.

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