Explore the Kankakee Region
While every Kankakee Region site is worth visiting, if you’re short on time, you’ll only be able to visit a few. Below are recommendations for great sites to see in a day…or two.
Spend a Day
• Start at the Dorothy Buell Memorial Visitor Center (Site 1) for maps and birding, fishing, or biking companion guides. Be sure to pick up the Indiana Dunes Activities Guide. This guide will provide detailed information about restaurants and accommodations in the Dunes, Moraine, and Kankakee regions as you explore the Trail.
• Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area (Site 57) is well known to hunters and anglers, but a trip to this site for nature enthusiasts who visit in November is well worth the drive. This designated Audubon Important Bird Area provides more than 8000 acres of ideal habitat for migratory birds. In November, sandhill cranes number in the tens of thousands – quite a spectacle! View this short film to learn more about the migration at www.in.gov/dnr/slides/cranes/index.html.
• Enjoy lunch or dinner in Kouts.
• Move on to spend the afternoon paddling or motoring the Kankakee River. There’s no livery at Dunn’s Bridge County Park (site 55)—yet. But for those with small boats, canoes, or kayaks, Dunn’s boasts a historic bridge and a nice launch for small boats and plenty of parking right on the Kankakee.
Add a day and make it a weekend!
• Stick around and enjoy dinner in Hebron or at one of Valparaiso’s many downtown dining venues.
• Stay the night in a bed and breakfast or at one of the many hotels in Valparaiso
• The following day, explore the Grand Kankakee Marsh County Park (Site 58) for spring birdwatching, wildlife watching, boat launch, fishing, hunting, and hiking.
• Enjoy lunch in Hebron or head back to Valparaiso.
• Spend the afternoon fishing or strolling along the Kankakee and bayous at LaSalle Fish and Wildlife Area (Site 59). Shoreline fishing is an option and three boat ramps are available. Your catch of the day may include small or largemouth bass, walleye, bluegill or rock bass. Parking area and Access Road 3 offer scenic roadside wildlife viewing!
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