Environmental Education Center
The Environmental Education Center is housed in a mutlicolored building covered with a gigantic fish on one side and a gigantic bee on another. Popular with school groups and other youth organizations, it's worth a peek inside to see the indoor trout stream with fully functional wetland. Afterward take a stroll along the George Lake bike trail.
Open weekdays, 8:30am to 4:30pm
Little Red Schoolhouse
Constructed in 1869, the Little Red Schoolhouse is one of the oldest buildings in Hammond. Notice the difference in the lower and upper halves of the wall. Builders started with limestone but transporting the stone proved too expensive and midway through construction a clay pit was found at the nearby Little Calumet River.
Although no longer used as a school after 1896, the building remained a focal point for the community, serving as headquarters for William Jennings Bryan's 1896 Presidential campaign, a dancehall, a place of worship, a funeral parlor, a community meeting hall and a private residence. The Hessville Historical Society purchased the sturdy building in 1971 for a mere dollar and The Little Red Schoolhouse reopened as a museum and community center.
Wolf Lake is busy in the warmer months with wind surfers, swimmers, sailboats (there is a small yacht club on the lake), fishermen and an occasional small power boat.
In the winter months, you will occasionally see someone ice fishing and when it is really cold and the ice has frozen you will see ice boats. My husband has a small 1 man sailboat and a 1 man ice boat that he uses on this lake. I don't understand wind at all and usually just float around on a raft while he sails (that would be during the summer months!).
There is a bike trail now that goes around the lake, eventually they will connect this to the George Lake trail and the trail for Lake Michigan.
Whihala Beach County Park
Part of the Lake County Park system, this popular lakefront beach covers two cities and is administered by the County, hence the name (WHIting, HAmmond and LAke County.) Established in 1981, although this area has been a popular recreational spot for years. Ammenities include a boat launch, trail, concessions and an exquisite view of the Chicago skyline.
Amidst local industry, this little gem of a lake provides a tranquil spot to do a little bird watching, take a bike ride along the bike trail, talk a stroll with your dog or view the recent handywork of the family of beavers who have been munching on the trees.
Once one of Chicagoland's busiest shopping streets (outside the Loop), Hammond's State Street hs the feel of an urban ghostown today. The huge First Baptist Church owns most of the faded yet still intriguing buildings, using them to house their Sunday School. At over 8,000 regular attendees, it is called the largest Sunday School in the world. The rest of the week the place is empty, save for a few weasley-looking denizens milling about.
Gibson Woods Nature Preserve
This 120 acre Nature Preserve, administered by the County, features four interconnecting trails that total four miles of hiking through savannah, forest, wetlands and the largest undissected dune ridge outside of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. This Preserve, along with the Hoosier Prairie in Griffith give an idea of what the entire Region looked like before industrialization.
- Hiking and Walking
This is the church that we got married in, it is a very long way from the back of the church to the front!
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