Submitted by: Laura Niemiec
Location: 3178 S. 150 West, La Porte, Indiana 46350 Hours: 7am to Sunset Pet Friendly: Must be on a leash but there is a No-Leash Dog Exercise Area (requires permits that can be purchased on site – see website for details). Parking: Paved lot Restrooms: Yes Trail Length: 1.7 miles of trails
Luhr County Park is a hidden gem just a few minutes south of downtown La Porte, Indiana. When I arrived at the park early one sunny Friday afternoon I found I had the entire park to myself, but only for a short while. Just off the parking lot is the Nature Center, though I regrettably did not visit it on this trip, and restrooms along with some free literature including trail maps. I picked up a map and decided to tackle all of the trails being that each of the 4 trails are under a mile each (3 are under a half mile).
Following the well-marked trails, I wandered through the lush vegetation that was dotted with fall color before ending up at a boardwalk that lead out to a tall platform overlooking a wetland area. It was here that a praying mantis briefly perched on my head.
After leaving the wetland area, I followed the trail south to Luhr Pond. As I was taking my first photo of the pond, I noticed a blue spot to my far right. I zoomed in with my lens and saw it was a small blue heron. I snapped a photo the took a short break, taking in the beauty of the pond and the trees starting to show pops of color and enjoy the warm afternoon sun.
Continuing on, I ventured on the fishing pier before following the Lumberjack Trail behind the lake. Before you head into woods, the tall grasses alongside trail continue to grow until they tower over you making for an excellent photo opportunity. The last trail I followed was Trail 3, which is mostly wooded and runs into Trail 1 on the south end.
The trails here range from paved to grassy and dirt. Trail 1, the Hickory Hollow Trail is completely paved and handicap accessible. Trails aside, there are 4 playground areas at Luhr County Park and exercise equipment near the pond. Visitors will find plenty of spots for a picnic too, whether it is under one of the covered shelters or at one of the picnic tables the gather around the pond. Fishing at the pond requires a valid Indiana Fishing License and is catch and release only.
Lastly, as noted above, there is an awesome no-leash dog exercise area. The Bark Park does require a daily or annual permit that can be purchased onsite and is good at three other Bark Parks in the area. For more info on the Bark Park, check out the links below.