Explore the best trails in Indiana with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
dogs on leash
Nice hike along the western lakeshore. Would say this is an Easy + difficulty rating. It appears you may be able to continue around the north tip of the lake by taking a left before the stairs to the observation deck. We did this hike while the trees were still bare but it must be much more beautiful once everything is in bloom.
Just a tip...the trail entrance is a wide, mowed path that heads north from the center of the parking lot. Take the path off to the right once on the mowed path. Going straight takes you to the latrines.
It really makes no difference if you take this trail clockwise or counterclockwise! This trail can get pretty muddy after a good rain.
*NOTE* This trail is not ideal for older adults or individuals with mobility issues. If you're planning a trip with someone who needs these sorts of considerations, I recommend the Discovery Trail behind the Nature Center, the paved Friends Trail next to the fire tower, or possibly Trail 6 around Strahl Lake if they're up for a little bit more of a challenge!
The fam (wife, 12 y/o, 8 y/o) and I hiked trail 2 which is 5.1 mi. Im not in good shape and it was a piece of cake, I would almost classify this as easy. I wanted to do trail 3 also which adds a few more miles, but the fam werent feeling it. About half way, they were dragging ass, so I made some corn pancakes on the emberlit stove and I couldnt believe how much better everyones mood was on the way out!
I started this trail at Bailey's Homstead, which leads into Little Calumet.
I had been to Baileys Homstead so many times and just never went the other way. Well, I decided to go the other way! The trail was SO DIVERSE. I was amazed at how many different things I got to see and experience. Woods, a beautiful boardwalk, bridges, a prairie and you come across Bailey's Homstead fully equipped with signs to let you know about the first settlers in Northwest Indiana.
When I went, it was extremely muddy. But we carried on!
The only thing I did not like - the trails are HORRIBLY unlabeled. Even with two different types of maps, we were still confused on which way to go at some points. ESPECIALLY when you get to the paved road. We walked down a street for about a half a mile before we finally figured out that a trail was behind this little gravel parking lot. So be aware!
Overall, it was a pretty trail. I can't wait to visit it during the summer and will return.
I have only done 1 mile of this trail many times, which includes the part with all of the stairs. But the views when you get up there are amazing. You have a diverse hiking trail with great views. Great for families! Beautiful beach.
Friend and I did the outer loop 2/18-19 2017. We were first timers, so I thought I would write a review for other first timers. See my uploaded photo with the map and red arrows. Tried to point out specific camp locations with existing fire rings. We parked at the Celina lake boat ramp, hiked counterclockwise to the northern most camp on the west side of Indian lake...thinking that was about halfway - not. The switchbacks along the southern section make the trail much longer than we thought. Don't rely on pumping from Indian lake in the winter months, they lower the level and it is surrounded by mud flats. There are numerous small flowing water locations around both lakes - the locations on the map that show a blue line are the more major ones. Enjoyed the numerous pine stands that broke up the hardwood forest views. I would suggest parking at one of the parking locations along the main entry road just passed where the trail crosses - they all have connector trails to get you to the outer loop. Trekking poles are necessary, lots of slippery slopes. For beginner/entry-level backpackers I would suggest utilizing the cut-through trail the first time, the outer loop I would call more for the moderate/more experienced "Indiana" backpacker. Lots of elevation changes and water crossings make this trail adventurous. Some of the water crossings would require shoes and socks off to cross after a major rain. It rained on us Sat. afternoon and evening, but we could still tip toe across all water crossings on Sun.. It was interesting to find out portions of this trail are part of the American Discovery Trail (google it, interesting reading). Take the interpretive trail south of the Celina boat ramp - along the lake - it has some interesting rock remnants of the sandstone quarry. It was a very enjoyable trail and can't wait to do it again.