Winter adventures- Where to go: Skiing, ice skating, tubing or ice fishing?

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Featured

Published on December 26, 2018 with No Comments

Coffee Creek Park – 246 E. Morgan Avenue, Chesterton

In the wintertime, this park becomes a prime spot for sledding. It’s located right next to the historic Chesterton business district, so after a day of hurtling down the hill, you can warm up at one of the nearby restaurants or coffeehouses – they’re just a short walk away. Sledding and Tubing. Open from dawn to dusk. Free. For more information call 219-926-3000 or, visit 

Coffee Creek Watershed Preserve – State Road 49 and Voyage Boulevard, Chesterton

With five miles of trails winding through prairies, creeks, wetlands and woodlands, this preserve has plenty of adventures in store for a cross-country skier. If you start to feel a bit chilly, take a break and warm up at the fireplace in the public shelter. Skiing. From dawn to dusk. Free. For more information call 219-926-1842.

Countryside Park – 5250 US Highway 6, Portage

Tromp along 33 acres of history at this park, home to the Alton Goin Museum and the Portage Historical Society. The hills offer great sledding and tubing, and its fishing pond is always dotted with ice fishers, even in the coldest months. Sledding, Tubing and Ice Fishing.  From dawn-dusk. Free. For more information call 219-762-1675 or, visit

Forest Park – 851 Harrison Boulevard, Valparaiso

This popular sledding hill is part of the Forest Park Golf Course. In the winter, the hills along Harrison Blvd. are open for tubing and sledding. It’s one of the most popular hills in Valparaiso – be prepared for lively crowds. Sledding and Tubing. From dawn-dusk. Free. For more information call 219-462-5144 or, visit

Hawthorne Park – 500 Ackerman Drive, Porter

The area near the north side of the community center is transformed into an outdoor ice rink when the weather cooperates. The rink is lighted, and the community center will open during skating times for a warming area and restrooms. Check website for times. Park is also site of Crosscountry Skiing and a small Sledding Hill. Skating, Skiing and Sledding. Times vary depending on activity (see website). Free. For more information call 219-921-1687 or, visit

Hebron Ice Rink – 199 Professional Court, Hebron

Strap on your blades and twirl around this outdoor skating rink. It opens for the season as soon as the ice has frozen to a minimum of 4 inches, and stays open as long as weather permits – call the town hall or visit the website to find out if the rink will be open during your stay. Ice Skating. Dawn-dusk, weather permitting. Free. For more information call 219-996-4641 or, visit

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

• Glenwood Dunes Trail (US Highway 20, just west of 275 East) Chesterton

• Tolleston Dunes (US Highway 12, two miles west of State Road 249) Portage

Cross-country skiing is available on all of the park trails. The Glenwood Dunes Trail, with its warming shelter and loops ranging from 1 to 6.4 miles long, is definitely the can’t-miss spot – although the Tolleston Dunes trail is a close second. Skiing and Snowshoeing. 7 a.m. to dusk. Free. For more information call 219-395-1882 or, visit

Indiana Dunes State Park – 1600 North 25 East (State Rd. 49, north of U.S. Hwy. 12) Chesterton

Hiking and biking trails transform into cross-country skiing and snowshoeing paths once the snow falls. Spend an afternoon swishing through the landscape, catching glimpses of wildlife in this serene setting. If sledding is your thing, be sure to hit the Devil’s Slide – once winter comes, this sand dune transforms into a wicked fun tubing and sledding hill. Sledding, Tubing, Skiing and Snowshoe rental.  Camping seven days a week. 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Free on weekdays in winter during the year, weekends $5 car, out of state $10 car. Annual entrance passes, Indiana resident: $36.00; Out of state: $46.00; Golden Hoosier: $18.00. For more information call 219-926-1952 or, visit

Imagination Glen Park – 2275 McCool Road, Portage

Once the snow falls, winter enthusiasts can set off on three miles of cross-country trails that loop through this 256-acre park. The trails are clearly marked, and are divided into difficulty from beginner to advanced. Skiing. Dawn to dusk. Free. For more information call 219-762-1675 or, visit

Rogers-Lakewood Park – 5320 North Meridian Road, Valparaiso

The park has nearly four miles of cross-country skiing trails, and a huge sledding hill-it’s got three chutes for sledding and tubing and one chute for tobogganing. Atop the hill, there’s a winter shelter and a concessions stand. There’s also ice fishing atop the park’s lakes. Sledding, Tubing, Skiing and Ice Fishing. Dawn to dusk. Free. For more information call 219-462-5144 or, visit

Sunset Hill Farm County Park – US Highway 6 and Meridian Road, Valparaiso

This former dairy farm transforms into a crosscountry skiing trail that winds its way through 286 acres. Don’t miss the park’s holiday lights festival. Enjoy snowshoe workout classes Saturday mornings in winter ($5; equipment is provided; call to register). Sledding, Tubing, Skiing, Snowshoeing and Snowshoe Rental. Dawn to dusk. Free, $5 for snowshoes, $5 for festival. For more information call 219-465-3586 or, visit

Gabis Arboretum & Gardens – 450 West 100 North, Valparaiso

Gabis’s (formally Taltree) quiet, gently-sloping woodlands, fascinating wetland views and huge expanse of prairie make the nearly four miles of trails perfect for cross-country skiing, snow shoeing and bird watching. Or come indoors for one of many gardening classes. Snowshoeing (free rentals offered), Skiing and Gardening Classes. Nov. – March 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. $10/free for members and children 4 and under. For more information call 219-462-0025 or, visit

Tower Park – 1000 North Franklin Street, Valparaiso

This park (named because it resides in the shadow of the town’s water tower) has open skating and hockey on its ice rink. The rink is lighted (coin-activated), and there’s a warming shelter and restrooms available. Ice Skating. Dawn to dusk. Quarters for lighting. For more information call 219-462-5144 or, visit

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