Pokagon State Park is a Winter Wonderland- Midwest’s most popular resort that offers an abundance of family friendly fun

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Featured

Published on December 13, 2017 with No Comments

Pokagon State Park is located near Angola, just off I-69. The park was originally called Lake James State Park when proposed to be the fifth Indiana State Park in 1925. The name was changed to Pokagon State Park to acknowledge the rich Native American heritage of the state and region. Leopold and Simon Pokagon were father and son and the last two most notable leaders of the Potawatomi. The park’s Potawatomi Inn takes its name from these Native Americans, who made their home in the area. The inn, with its up-north fishing-lodge theme, is one of the Midwest’s most popular resorts and conference centers.

Being one of the state’s original parks, Pokagon features the unique work of the Civilian Conservation Corps, whose members lived and worked at Pokagon from 1934 to 1942. The “boys of the CCC” built the beautiful stone and log structures that dot the park landscape and provide accent to the rolling wooded hills, wetlands and open meadows.

Natural lakes created by glaciers that melted 10,000 to 15,000 years ago, highlight Steuben County, which has more lakes than any other Indiana county. The park is framed by Lake James and Snow Lake, which offer abundant opportunities for boating, swimming, fishing and scenic sunsets.

Pokagon is also Indiana State Parks’ winter wonderland, with cross-country ski rental, sledding, ice fishing and a twin-track toboggan run… “What a thrill!”… That’s what you’ll say once you’ve experienced the quarter-mile, refrigerated toboggan run at speeds of 35-40 mph. The toboggan run operates weekends from the Friday after Thanksgiving through February, with extended hours during the Christmas holidays. For hours, more information, and to take a virtual ride, visit www.tobogganrun.com.

Refrigerated Toboggan Run

Pokagon State Park’s refrigerated Toboggan Run near Angola, Indiana, has about 90,000 riders every season. With the 30-foot tower and dips and valleys, the total vertical drop is 90 feet over the course of a quarter mile. The top recorded speed is 42 mph. It’s a 20 to 30 second thrill ride. The toboggan run operates weekends, with extended hours during the Christmas holidays. For more information, and to take a virtual ride, visit www.tobogganrun.com.


It opened for the season, with or without snow on Nov. 27. It operates on weekends only through Sunday, Feb. 28.


Friday: 5:30-9 p.m.

Saturday: 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m.

Sunday: 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

The Toboggan has extended hours during winter break and is open on New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Day and Presidents’ Day.

Fees & General Information

• Toboggan sled rental per hour: $13 (including tax). Toboggan Run gift certificates available.

• Friday Special: Rent three toboggans in the same hour, the third one is free.

• Park entrance fees: $7 in-state vehicles, $9 out-of-state vehicles, $2 a person on a bus.

• During winter, fees are collected Friday nights and on weekends.

• Park closes at 11 p.m., opens at 7 a.m.

• Driver’s license is required as deposit, rents up to four toboggans.

• Must use park’s sleds. Rented on first-come, first-served basis.

• Maximum of four people per toboggan (no exceptions).

• Cash, check and Visa/MasterCard accepted.

• No all-day rentals.

• No group reservations or group rates.

• There are no specific age or height restrictions, but children must be able to understand and abide by rules.

• No cameras or video equipment allowed on ride.

• Toboggan will close if temperature drops to 0 degrees F or below.

• Warming Center concession available (carry-in food prohibited).

• Nature Center is open 1 to 5 p.m., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

• Park Office 260-833-2012 is open 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mon.-Fri.

Need a Place to Stay or Eat?

The Potawatomi Inn Resort and Conference Center is located nearby the run. It has 137 guest rooms, restaurant, and a spacious banquet and conference center. For reservations and rates call 877-563-4371.

Cross Country Ski Rental

Includes skis, boots and poles.

• Hours: Sat.-Sun., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• Cost: $5 an hour for youths 15 and under, $8 an hour for adults.

Plenty of outdoor fun in our area

You don’t have to cross the border to have fun in the Indiana snow. Parks and other facilities offer opportunities for skiing, cross-country skiing, sledding, tubing, and snowshoeing.

Listed here are some local spots for winter fun. Some offer free admssion, while many operate daily, dawn to dusk.

• Coffee Creek Park, 246 E. Morgan Ave., Chesterton; 219-926-3000; sledding, tubing

• Countryside Park, 5250 U.S. Hwy. 6, Portage; 219-762-1675; sledding, tubing, ice fishing

• Cowles Bog, N. Mineral Springs Rd., Porter; 219-395-1882; skiing, hiking, snowshoeing

• Forest Park, 1158 Harrison Blvd., Valparaiso; 219-462-5144; sledding, tubing, tobogganing, snowboarding

• Forest Park Golf Course, 1155 Sheffield Dr., Valparaiso; cross-country skiing, tubing, sledding

• Forsythe Park, 119th St. and Calumet Ave., Hammond; 219-659-7678; cross-country skiing

• Hawthorne Park, 500 Ackerman Dr., Porter; 219-921-1687; ice skating, skiing, cross-country skiing, sledding

• Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore: Glenwood Dunes Trail, off Hwy. 20, Chesterton, and Tolleston Dunes, off Hwy. 12, Portage; 219-395-1882; snowshoeing, skiing, cross-country skiing

• Indiana Dunes State Park, 1600 N. 25 East, Chesterton; 219-926-1952; camping, sledding, tubing, skiing, ski rentals

• Imagination Glen Park, 2275 McCool Rd., Portage; 219-762-1675; skiing

• Lake County Fairgrounds, 895 S. Court St., Crown Point; 219-663-3617; sledding

• Lemon Lake County Park, 6322 W. 133rd Ave., Crown Point; 219 -663-7627; sledding, skiing, ski rentals

• Lost Marsh Golf Course, 1001 129th St., Hammond; 219-923-4653; cross-country skiing, sledding

• Oak Ridge Prairie County Park, 301 S. Colfax St., Griffith; 219-884-7238; sledding hill, cross-country skiing

• Olson Memorial Park, 6175 Sunrise Ave., Portage; 219-762-1675; sledding

• Rogers-Lakewood Park, 5320 Meridian Rd., Valparaiso; 219-462-5144; sledding, tubing, skiing, ice fishng

• Stoney Run County Park, 142nd and Union St., Leroy; 219-996-6500; cross-country skiing

• Sunset Hill Farm County Park, 775 Meridian Rd., Valparaiso; 219-465-3586; sledding, tubing, skiing, snowshoeing, snowshoe rentals, festivals

• Taltree Arboretum & Gardens, 450 W. 100 North, Valparaiso; 219-462-0025; skiing, snowshoeing (with own equipment), special events and classes

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