Little Calumet River Trail
Little Calumet River Trail is located in the town of Porter in Porter County within the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and is connected to the Bailly Homestead and Chellberg Farm Trails. To access the trails from US 20, turn north on Mineral Springs Rd. go ½ mile then turn left on Oak Hill Rd. another ½ mile, and then another left on Howe Rd. Parking is available near Bailly Homestead on the left and further down is additional parking to the right where the trailhead is also located.
From the parking area follow the trail at Mnoke´ Prairie, a long-term restoration project that is monitored by area High School students. Mostly grasses grow in the 120 acre open space along with Queen Anne’s lace and Goldenrod among other indigenous plants. The trail runs east for 0.9 miles as it descends into the woods where the 1.6 mile Little Calumet River Trail begins crossing the Little Calumet River. A boardwalk extending northward across the river and wetlands allows one to explore diverse plant and wildlife. The trail continues north through marsh and meadow landscapes.
A quick glimpse of a white tailed deer, a coyote, or other fury critters may be spotted from the trail. Perhaps a sighting of one of the 352 species of birds, or the federally endangered Karner Blue Butterfly will highlight the adventure. Depending on the time of year one travels the trail, an array of pink, yellow and blue from wildflowers in the spring to bright red, orange and yellow leaves in the fall burst with color. The trail loops around the Indiana Dunes Environment Learning Center to the west crossing Howe Rd where the Little Calumet River Trail ends and the Bailly Homestead and Chellberg Farm Trails begin.
Article by Norma Snyder