Every August Porter County Airport hosts a fly-in of World War II aircraft. It occurs just after the Oskosh Air Show in Wisconsin. Each year, it varies as to what aircraft will arrive. Inevitably, it's a hot day, 90 degrees and hotter in the sun.
If you're around, it's a chance for you to see and get inside the planes that defeated Hitlers Luftwaffe.
Wings of Freedom Tour 2009
July 27, 2007 - July 29, 2009
Location: Porter County Municipal Airport
Admission: $12 Adults/ $6 Children
Come see fully restored WWII bomber and fighter aircraft at the Porter County Airport in Valparaiso . A B-17 Flying Fortress, B-24 Liberator and P-51 Mustang will arrive on Monday, July 27 and will be on display through Wednesday, July 29. Walk-through tours are available for $12 for Adults and $6 for Children. Once-in-a-lifetime flight experiences are available aboard all three aircraft. B-17 and B-24 rides are $425 per person per flight and P-51 rides are $2200/ $3200 depending on duration. All donations are tax deductible.
This exhibit is sponsored by the Stow, MA based Collings Foundation which flies the three aircraft to 110-cities annually as the "Wings of Freedom Tour."
Each summer, long about mid-august, the soap box derby comes to town. The Derby finals are held in Akron, Ohio, but one of the elimination events occurs here. Lincolnway is closed from Garfield to Morgan. This is the hill east of downtown and the racers start and Garfield and run towards town, stopping before Morgan. The area is packed with racers, their families and race enthusiasts. Lots of fun and no motor.
Soap Box cars are now high-tech, but they are still basically, built by the driver, who has to be younger than 15 or 16. Four wheels, a shell, and a steering wheel. Limited in weight, size and the help they can recieve, this remains an area where the kids dominate.
Located on the back wall of Brown's Tire (Goodyear dealer) are 4 murals of Porter County. You say, that's really off the beaten track! Got to walk around behind an automobile mechanics place. Well, yes, but you can also pull into the parking lot of the job service office, Blockbuster Video, or Papa Murphy's Pizza. You see, the wall overlooks the job office parking lot and is visible as you head south bound on Calumet Ave. from the 5 way corner (Kmart-Wiseway).
1) Indiana Dunes -- North on the Lake Michigan Shoreline (not a specific site)
2) Lake Wauhob -- Among the Flint Lakes north of town
3) Old Tretabas Mill -- Just off Old 49 (Calumet extension), near Liberty Bible Church)
4) Furnessville Blowout -- In the State Park's Natural Preservation Area
Each spring and fall, the Great Blue Heron migrate through northern Indiana on their way north to the breeding grounds or south to their winter resorts. Each fall, they use Jasper-Pulaski Fish & Wildlife Area as a gathering and resting place after their long flight from across the Great Lakes. They don't necessarily fly over Lake Michigan, but there are few resting places from north of Lake Superior, until the wetlands of the 'old' Grand Kankakee Swamp.
Here, they congretate until there are several thousand resting in the refuge at night and feeding in the surrounding areas by day. Just driving to the refuge, you begin seeing Herons in every field, eating the grain left by the harvestors. The best time is October near dusk. That's when the Herons begin to congregate at the resting area. Indiana DNR has established a parking area with a observation tower. The public parking area has a front row view of the field and you don't have to get out of the car, but you'll enjoy the short walk through the woods and the information signs (quiz) along the way.
For those needing closer parking, The tower and all are accessible. A handicap only paved parking lot is adjacent to the tower and there is a ramp to the upper deck. Everyone should be able to see the Herons. See the picture of the ramp by clicking on the photo.
It's a 40 minute trip from Valparaiso, south on IN 49 to IN 10 and east to US 421. Then south to the Jasper Pulaski signs at Radioville. The observation tower is on the south side east on IN 143. There have been signs, but they can be hard to see. The last turn is after the office and work yard/picnic grounds. You turn north on a refuge road (paved here) and the parking lot is immediate on your left. Handicap parking is a bit further north at the edge of the small woodlot (north end of the public parking area).
The Grand Kankakee Marsh once covered over 500,000 acres (202,000 Hectares) of northern Indiana and Illinois.
Kankakee State Fish & Wildlife Area
Kankakee Fish and Wildlife Area is dedicated to providing quality hunting and fishing opportunities while maintaining 4,095 acres, which includes open water, marshes, riparian timber, periodically flooded crop fields and 11 miles of river. Located at SR 8 and ST 39 in Starke County.
Grand Kankakee Marsh County Park
Grand Kankakee Marsh County Park, Hebron, Indiana, off State Route 2 and I-65
Grand Kankakee Marsh County Park
Marshes, oxbows, the river itself add up to lots of northern Indiana swampland, which is a lot more attractive than it might sound to some. Wildlife is abundant, especially birds. Take a slog through what's left of the swamp.
LaSalle Fish and Wildlife Area
LaSalle Fish and Wildlife Area
There are a couple of small remnants left, and this F&W area preserves one of them. The river is still ditchlike, but some of the bayous and oxbows are left to give a feel for what it was like before the "improvements". There are paths and service roads that lead through the property, but the best way to see it may be by canoe.
History of the marsh by Hoosier Environmental Council
F&W Service proposal
History of the area
Kankakee Valley Historical Society
Six Languages ask for God's Peace. It is a location that you can come to contemplate or meditate about peace in your life, the community, and the world. Join the congregation on Sunday Mornings for worship.
Located at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) 1507 Glendale (across the street from Valplayso). Glendale links with Campbell Street at the corner where Central Christian Church is located, south of the High School (go east). Glendale crosses North Calumet at the Taco Bell/Walgreens corner (go east). Glendale crosses North Roosevelt, just north of Thomas Jefferson Elem. School and TJ Middle School at the Times Newspaper building corner (go east). Glendale connects with Silhavy Road at the Nazarene Church Corner (go west).
Want to swim and have a picnic? Try Rogers-Lakewood Park . Located north of town on Campbell St. / Meridian Rd , Rogers-Lakewood offers a variety of activities all year long. I have to admit, I've only been there in the winter and for the Art Festival in late Fall. There are several lakes, paths, a beach and plenty of shady lawns.
Fishing, Swimming, Picnicing, walking, Frisbee Golf
Ice Fishing, Sledding
Vale Fine Arts Festival
October 6, 2007 - October 7, 2007
Times: 10:00 am-5:00 pm
575 Campbell Road, Valparaiso
Visual Artists', Children's Creativity Corner, & "Arts Alive" performing stage.
Future Dates: October 4-5, 2008
Sunset Hills County Farm Park is the largest County Park in the system. There are trails through the woods, playground and fields all around. Each month, there are special events to add excitement.
International Music Festival
July 14, 2007 - July 15, 2007
Times: Saturday: 2:00 pm- 10:00 pm, Sunday: Noon to 6:00 pm
Location: Sunset Hill Farm County Park, 775 N. Meridian Rd., Valparaiso
Admission: $5.00/person, Children 8 and under free
Music, Dance, Food and crafters, representing many areas of the world.
Located on the cities near west side is Ogden Garden . It is the cities showcase garden. Located on Harrison, just off Campbell St. Here, you'll find 5 acres of flower beds, including annuals and perennials, a rose garden, a water garden and a gazebo offering natures splendors in a relaxed setting. The Chrysanthemum displays and flowering trees and shrubs are the highlights of the spring.
In late spring and early summer, numerous weddings are held here. It is a favorite place for Prom pictures.
It's great for an afternoon or a leisurely days drive. Head south one way, like through Boone Grove take the back roads to Kouts, maybe stop along the Kankakee River. Head back through the eastern part of Porter County. Farms, fields, PUD's (Planned Unit Development, i.e., sprawl) and various cemetaries mark the land from the people who built this community and are still building.
See my Kouts page for places to eat and things to do.
Swimming, hiking, and dune climbing. For details, see my Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore