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Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore: Little Calumet River

This 3.4-miler tours historic sites in one of Indiana’s first settlements and crosses the Little Calumet River floodplain in Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

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Get a history lesson on this kid-friendly loop through the floodplain of the Little Calumet River. Take time to visit an historic settler cemetery; the Chellberg Farmhouse, a typical Swedish-immigrant family home; and northern Indiana’s first non-native residence, the Bailly Homestead. This 3.4-mile loop begins at the old Bailly/Chellberg visitor center (there are restrooms and picnic shelters, but the center, itself has been closed for a few years) and heads north toward the Chellberg family home. Though the farm animals here are visible year-round, kids can help feed the animals on weekend afternoons.
After passing the farm, the trail dips into a wooded ravine and toward an optional quarter-mile out-and-back detour to an old cemetery. From here, the loop continues west and then descends into wooded ravines, passing a winding creek, a restored prairie, and bottomland woods that surround the Little Calumet River and its floodplain. At mile 3, the trail joins the park road briefly and passes through the Bailly Homestead (settled in 1822), which encouraged later immigrant communities in the area. It’s a quick, 0.25 miles back to the trailhead.
-Mapped by Ted Villaire

To Trailhead

From Gary, drive 13 miles east on US-20, and turn right onto N. Mineral Springs Rd. Go 0.3 mile to trailhead parking area on the right.

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