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The Moraine Region

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Picture a bulldozer. Then picture one that's a mile high and as wide as your eyes can see. That's a lot of earth-moving power, and that was the power of the Wisconsin Glacier as it pushed slowly south, reaching as far as central Indiana. The enormous glacier gathered immense amounts of debris—from sand to giant boulders—as it scraped over the land. As the climate warmed about 16,000 years ago, the glacier melted back to the north, dropping its debris as it retreated.

In the Moraine Region of the Beyond the Beach Discovery Trail, you'll see plenty of evidence of that glacial debris in the form of rolling hills—what scientists call glacial moraines. Glaciation shaped the entire landscape you'll see as you explore here—from Pinhook Bog, which formed from a glacial ice chunk left behind by the retreating glacier, to Taltree Arboretum & Gardens, perched atop the Valparaiso Moraine, with its 300 acres of woody plant collections, formal gardens, wetlands, woodlands, and restored prairies.

In the Moraine Region of the Beyond the Beach Discovery Trail, you'll find 17 great sites to explore. Read about them here. For the Moraine Region itinerary suggestions, click here.

Anderson's Vineyard & Winery

Anderson's Vineyard & Winery

Since 1927, the Anderson family has grown fruit in the Valparaiso area, and they established their estate winery in 1994. Anderson's winery specializes in light, fruity wines produced from fruit and grapes grown in the Midwest region. They offer a wide variety of wines, including Rhubarb Blush ... More

T: 219-464-4936  | E: wineryandersons@gmail.com | W: View Website

Bluhm County Park

Bluhm County Park

This park encompasses 96 acres of upland forest, wetlands, prairie, and a pond. Known for its lovely native wildflowers, the park comprises two parcels of land joined by a narrow greenway. The West Woods area offers great trails for mountain biking, horseback riding, skiing, and hiking. Near the ... More

T: 219-325-8215 | W: View Website

Broken Wagon Bison Farm

Broken Wagon Bison Farm

This family farm raises American bison--the iconic species of the American prairie. At the farm, visitors can see bison in the fields and buy a range of bison products, including roasts and steaks, sausage, jerky and hand made bison leather products. The farm offers the opportunity to buy food ... More

T: 219-759-3523  | E: bwbison@hotmail.com | W: View Website

Chustak Public Fishing Area

Chustak Public Fishing Area

This 76-acre public fishing area offers access to Salt Creek, where you’ll find excellent small-stream trout and salmon fishing as fish leave Lake Michigan and head upstream on seasonal spawning runs. For non-anglers, the site provides a narrow trail that follows Salt Creek’s meanderings ... More

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Deep River County Park

Deep River County Park

Deep River County Park offers a mix of history, natural beauty, and pure fun within its 1,200-acre site. In 1837-38, John Wood built a sawmill and gristmill here along the Deep River, creating Lake County’s first settlement industry. Park visitors can explore Wood’s Grist Mill and the ... More

T: 219-769-7275 | W: View Website

Forest Park

Forest Park

Though Forest Park is just ten acres in size, it's a lovely spot for a stroll or a family picnic. Oak and hickory dominate the woodlands here. You can wander along trails through two acres of oak savanna restoration, carried out by the park department. Removing non-native plants from the ... More

T: 219-462-5144 | W: View Website

Foundation Meadows Park

Foundation Meadows Park

Foundation Meadows showcases the efforts of the Valparaiso Department of Parks and Recreation to restore prairie and wetland ecosystems that existed on these 20 acres before it was converted to farming. A mowed path leads through a prairie meadow, where you'll find beautiful wildflowers during ... More

T: 219-462-5144 | W: View Website

Long Lake Public Access

Long Lake Public Access

While Long Lake is surrounded by private property it is a nice spot for angling or birding. This public access area offers a small, concrete boat launch. Motor boats are permitted, with a maximum speed of 10mph.

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Memorial Opera House

Memorial Opera House

On the National Register of Historic Places, the beautiful, 364-seat Memorial Opera House was built in 1893 by the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) as a memorial to the county's Civil War veterans. The GAR wanted to create a memorial that would be useful to the entire local community, and this ... More

T: 219-548-9137 | W: View Website

Ogden Gardens Park

Ogden Gardens Park

Ogden Gardens boasts four acres of manicured flower gardens beautifully landscaped with annuals, perennials, roses, shrubs, and trees. A network of pathways traverse the garden, past streams, bridges, pond, and a tea house. For a small fee, visitors can rent a wooden gazebo in the gardens that's ... More

T: 219-462-5144 | W: View Website

Pinhook Bog

Pinhook Bog

A visit to Pinhook Bog should be on every nature-lover's itinerary. Though part of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, the bog is located several miles inland, separate from the rest of the park. Pinhook Bog is highly unique and sensitive so YOU CAN ONLY VISIT THE BOG THROUGH A SCHEDULED TOUR ... More

T: 219-926-7561 | W: View Website

Porter County Museum

Porter County Museum

Included in the National Register of Historic Places, the former Sheriff's Residence and Porter County Jail are historic in their own right and home to a variety of historical treasures. Exhibits are displayed throughout the former residence and in jail cells. The Museum is open to the public ... More

T: 219-465-3595  | E: info@portercountymuseum.org | W: View Website

Red Mill County Park

Red Mill County Park

Part of the La Porte County Parks system, this park encompasses 160 acres of forests, meadows, wetlands, and open water, including the headwaters of the Little Calumet River. Near the parking area, you’ll find fishing access, picnic areas, trails, restrooms, and a playground. The Patricia J. ... More

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Rogers Lakewood Park

Rogers Lakewood Park

Nestled on 122 acres of rolling woodlands on Valparaiso’s northwest side, this park offers picnic pavilions, sledding hill, a disc golf course, and skateboard park. The TeamWorks challenge course provides teambuilding exercises for corporations and other groups. Lakewood Link, a two-mile foot/... More

T: 219-462-5144 | W: View Website

Salt Creek Public Fishing Area

Salt Creek Public Fishing Area

This 75-acre public fishing area provides access to Salt Creek, where you'll find excellent small-stream trout and salmon fishing as fish leave Lake Michigan and head upstream on seasonal spawning runs. Salt Creek has notable runs of Skamania steelhead, and is popular among fly anglers. For ... More

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Stagecoach Inn & Panhandle Depot

Stagecoach Inn & Panhandle Depot

Open from June through September, the Stage Coach Inn and Panhandle Depot are museums for the Hebron Historical Society. The Stage Coach Inn is a saltbox style house, built in 1849, that has variously served as an inn, residence, post office, and museum over the years. Several rooms within the ... More

T: 219-996-3192 

Stoney Run County Park

Stoney Run County Park

Stoney Run County Park encompasses 316 acres of oak-hickory woodlands, ponds, ravines, and open meadows. Visitors can picnic by the water and hike or ski on eight miles of trails. A trail around the park’s perimeter is open to horseback riding. During your visit, you can also fish in park ... More

T: 219-769-7275 | W: View Website

Sunset Hill Farm County Park

Sunset Hill Farm County Park

Sunset Hill Farm County Park is a lovely 235-acre park where you'll find a primitive campground, several miles of trails, picnic and play areas, demonstration crops, and an amphitheater. The park's hiking trails traverse both prairie and woodland, where you can see birds and other wildlife. A ... More

T: 219-465-3586 | W: View Website

Taltree Arboretum & Gardens

Taltree Arboretum & Gardens

Situated atop the Valparaiso moraine, Taltree offers 360 acres of woody plant collections, formal gardens, wetlands, woodlands, and prairies. Damien and Rita Gabis, who founded Taltree in 1997, envisioned it as a place where people could come to be refreshed and restored, find inspiration and ... More

T: 219-462-0025  | E: info@taltree.org | W: View Website

Valparaiso University Brauer Museum of Art

Valparaiso University Brauer Museum of Art

Located in the state-of-art Center for the Arts on the Valparaiso University campus, the Brauer Museum of Art is home to a nationally recognized collection of 19th and 20th-century American art and international religious art. The Brauer Museum of Art maintains a permanent collection of 19th, 20... More

T: 219-464-5365 | W: View Website

Zona Wildlife Sanctuary

Zona Wildlife Sanctuary

Stretch your legs at this 92-acre woodland preserve. A short figure-eight trail of less than one mile creates a scenic route through the forest. The sanctuary is a great spot to see spring wildflowers, summer nesting birds, fall colors, and wildlife tracks in winter snow.

T: 219-465-3586 | W: View Website