One of only two bogs in Indiana, Pinhook Bog offers a unique glimpse into the region’s geological past. The bog was formed approximately 10,000 years ago when the water from a melting glacial fragment formed a freshwater lake here. With no source of additional fresh water other than rainfall or melting snow, the lake stagnated for millenia, creating the incredible ecosystem we see today. The bog is home to 1/3 of Indiana’s rare or endangered plants, and its acidic water provides the perfect habitat for an amazing assortment of carnivorous plants and the remarkable sphagnum moss that flourishes here. The moss forms a thick bed on the surface of the bog where trees and other plants have taken root. Even the tallest trees here will shake when the water is disturbed, which is why Pinhook Bog is known as a “quaking bog.”
Thousands of years ago, mighty glaciers advanced and receded across the Midwest. They carved the rolling hills of moraines, ground stone into sand, and eventually melted and formed the great lakes. Pinhook Bog was formed when a piece of these icy giants broke free and melted right here in what is today northwest Indiana. Its waters created a lake whose bed was sealed tightly with clay-like “glacial till,” the sediment left behind by the receding glaciers. With no springs, rivers, or streams to replenish the lake, rainfall or melting snow became the only available sources of fresh water. In these stagnant conditions, organic matter decomposed here over thousands of years and slowly filled the lake, depleting the oxygen and making the water highly acidic. This in turn slowed the process of decay and rendered the bog a prehistoric time capsule, preserving pollen and other relics deep in these murky waters. In time, the bog will fill completely and become solid ground.
Pinhook Bog & Upland Trail
A floating boardwalk traverses the landscape where you’ll see insect-eating plants and the most unexpected environments in the dunes. While the Upland Trail is open year-round, the bog is only accessible on select days with a ranger.
A convenient stay located near downtown? What about a country retreat heaped in Old World charm? Or a place you can bring your four-legged friend? Your unique getaway deserves a distinct