Located south of Kouts, on the way to Donna Jo's Campground (blue or white campground signs with arrows), you'll come to an unmarked farm that has a labyrinth mowed into the pasture, just south of the barn. The setting allows for contemplation without the interruptions or distractions of traffic, noise from others (except when the tractors are in the field). It's a major change for most people from the busyness of daily life.
This is on private property, please call ahead to make arrangements and to find the exact location. The owners invite anyone who is interested to come by.
Valparaiso is the county seat and the nearest major commercial area. It's about 15 miles north on Indiana 49. Here, you'll find a movie theater (after spring 2008), a drive-in theater all summer, and several major shopping areas with places like Kohl's, Walmart, Menards, Best Buy, Target and many others.
Kouts lies on the northern edge of the Grand Kankakee Marsh. Once 500,000 acres of marshlands and the greatest bird paradise north of the Everglades. Actually, Kouts in on a spur of dry land that delved deeply south into the marsh. The variety of plant life has dwindled as the marsh was drained and turned into some of the finest farm land in the country. Still, there are numerous preserves that offer a chance to see bits and pieces of the original or restored marshlands. Scattered throughout southern Porter County are pockets of wetlands and sand hills. On and in these pockets, you'll find small pieces of the marsh. Look for specific types of trees that can be a sign of the original marsh eco-system.
Please respect private property. Today, most areas are privately owned. I'll add the names and locations of nearby public areas sometime soon.
Jasper-Pulaski State Fish and Wildlife area is the migratory lay-over for the Sand Hill Cranes. In the spring and fall, the area over 15,000 cranes come through, spending the night in the reserve.