Valparaiso Off The Beaten Path

  • Old Tretabas Mill
    Old Tretabas Mill
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  • bottom of the hill, just before Morgan (the light)
    bottom of the hill, just before Morgan...
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  • Children's Playground
    Children's Playground
    by Toughluck

Most Recent Off The Beaten Path in Valparaiso

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    University Town

    by Toughluck Written Mar 7, 2014

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    If you have a student or were a student at Valparaiso University, they that's all you've probably come to town for and know it well. If you're not connected to the University, you've missed a wonderful part of the city. The Bauer Museum of Art is located there, the Chapel of the Resurrection with it's stained glass (visit in the morning) and a wonderful area for walking.

    This winter, they opened a public Visitor Center on U.S. 30, west of the Walmart area and S.R. 49.

    Related to:
    • Study Abroad
    • Museum Visits
    • Religious Travel

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    The Fly In

    by Toughluck Updated Jul 20, 2009

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    B-17 Flying Fortress
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    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."

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel

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    Soap Box Derby

    by Toughluck Updated Jan 8, 2008

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    bottom of the hill, just before Morgan (the light)

    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.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Adventure Travel

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    Mural's of Porter County

    by Toughluck Written Jan 8, 2008

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    View from Calumet Ave
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    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).

    Murals:
    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

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

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    Watch the Great Blue Herons

    by Toughluck Updated Nov 1, 2007

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    Beginning to Congregate
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    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.


    NOTE:
    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).

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Birdwatching
    • National/State Park

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    Grand Kankakee Marsh

    by Toughluck Updated Nov 1, 2007

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    The Grand Kankakee Marsh once covered over 500,000 acres (202,000 Hectares) of northern Indiana and Illinois.
    Kankakee State Fish & Wildlife Area
    State F&W
    Synopsis
    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
    Synopsis
    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.

    Restoration Proposal
    History of the marsh by Hoosier Environmental Council
    F&W Service proposal

    History of the area
    Kankakee Valley Historical Society

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Eco-Tourism

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    Peace Pole

    by Toughluck Updated Oct 31, 2007

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    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).

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Family Travel

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    Harold L. Rogers - Lakewood Park

    by Toughluck Updated Jul 6, 2007

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    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.

    Summer Activities:
    Fishing, Swimming, Picnicing, walking, Frisbee Golf

    Winter Activities:
    Ice Fishing, Sledding

    Vale Fine Arts Festival
    October 6, 2007 - October 7, 2007
    Times: 10:00 am-5:00 pm
    575 Campbell Road, Valparaiso
    Phone: 219-464-8332
    Admission: $5.00/car

    Visual Artists', Children's Creativity Corner, & "Arts Alive" performing stage.
    Future Dates: October 4-5, 2008

    Related to:
    • Skiing and Boarding
    • Fishing
    • Family Travel

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    Sunset Hills County Farm Park

    by Toughluck Written Jul 6, 2007

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    Children's Playground
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    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.

    Related to:
    • Festivals
    • Family Travel

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    Ogden Gardens

    by Toughluck Updated Jan 12, 2007

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    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.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Arts and Culture
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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    Kout's and farm country

    by Toughluck Written Dec 20, 2006

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    Farmstead
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    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.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip

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    Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

    by Toughluck Updated Feb 17, 2007

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    Mt Baldy
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    Swimming, hiking, and dune climbing. For details, see my Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park

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Valparaiso Off The Beaten Path

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