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Brincka Cross Gardens: Michigan City—1.5 miles of trails

Location: 427 Furness Road, Michigan City, IN 46360

Trail Length: About 1.5 miles total – the outer trail is .92 miles and there are some arteries in between the outer trail

Hours: Dawn to dusk

Cost: Free

Parking: Limited parking, about 4 spaces

Dog-Friendly: Yes, on leash

Restrooms: Port-a-potty next to parking area

Blogger Thoughts: (Laura Niemiec) • Stunning gardens/grounds • Crushed limestone and wooden bridges over wetland portions make the trail handicap accessible, the trail is also very wide • Many photo opportunities, bring a camera

There is a gem hidden in plain sight on Furness Road in Michigan City that not many know is there. Call it a secret garden if you will. Be sure to approach slowly as you arrive at the park as it is easy to pass up the entrance. Parking here is very limited with 4-5 spaces at the entrance. In the spring, when the flowering trees show off their colors, you’ll be swept away by the beauty as you exit your vehicle and approach the trailhead.

At the trailhead, you will find a unique, wood-clad home with large windows. It once belonged to an artist, Bill Brincka, and his companion, Basil Cross. They spent 40 years carefully creating the masterpiece you will be exploring when you visit the park. Bill passed away in 2001 and Basil in 2006. Afterward, Porter County Parks and Recreation purchased the land and made it a public park.

The gardens are at the front park where the main home and barn are located. On 4 of the 25 acres, you will find a canvas of flora home to 450 types of daffodils, 400 kinds of hostas, dozens of varieties of crab apple trees, ornamental grasses, magnolias and more. There are signs dotting the gardens which not only give a bit of insight into the planning of the gardens but information on the flora itself.

After you’re done wandering the gardens and taking in the beauty, be sure to following the short trail as it winds through the property. As you traverse the trail you are sure to encounter fauna, cross bridges over the wetland areas, and be in awe of the tall pines at the north end of the park. The trail is mostly flat with a bit of an incline on a short section as you head back to the main house. If you take the outer trail, starting at the main house, it’s 0.92 miles all the way around. Wandering through the connecting arteries of the trail will add about another half a mile to your total distance.


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