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Ready…Set…Spring! 7 must-see places to get you outside.

The weather is FINALLY starting to look better and I have hopes that we are over the hump and spring is here. So now that it’s getting nice outside, what are you going to do? Here are seven places to get you outdoors and start discovering this wonderful area where we live!

  1. Brincka Cross Gardens. You’ve seen the sign on Hwy. 20, but have you ever ventured over there? They have been expanding their trails and now is the time to go and check it out. Developed by artist Bill Brincka, this garden hosts all sorts of plants and flowers. Once you finish your walk through the gardens, head to Running Vines Winery in Chesterton for a wine flight and some small plates!

  2. Miller Woods. One of my favorite trails in the area is Miller Woods. You can take it all the way out and back to the beach (most rigorous), do the short loop at the front (easy), or walk the old tracks to search for beavers (moderate). Once done, stop in at the Douglas Center, check out the kids natural playground across the street, or do some shopping along Lake Street. Lake Street Gallery not only does framing, but has all sorts of unique gift ideas.

  3. Chickaming Township Park and Preserve. Head to Michigan and explore a new park. Chickaming offers a beautiful hike around the lake as well as some woods and prairie trails. Take a quick stop at the Galien River County Park to see the overview and then head to Three Oaks for a delicious fresh pizza and unique Journeyman cocktail at Staymaker.

  4. Shirley Heinze Land Trust Nature Preserves. Wherever you may be, there is sure to be a Shirley Heinze nature preserve close by. From Lake County to LaPorte County, they are scattered all over. Check out their website to see which one interests you! The photo below is a unique statue that can be found at John Merle Coulter Nature Preserve.

John Merle Coulter Nature Preserve (Shirley Heinze)

John Merle Coulter Nature Preserve (Shirley Heinze)

  1. Gabis Arboretum. Head on out to Valpo and walk through Gabis. Along with beautiful gardens, you can also find goats, chickens, turkeys and swans. Gabis is dog-friendly and offers formal gardens, woodlands, wetlands and prairies as well as a variety of events and a gift shop.

  2. Explore Moon Valley, search for geocaches. Stretching from Beachwalk to Karwick in Michigan City is Moon Valley, and this expanse of land hosts a variety of geocache finds. If you’ve never geocached, just download the app and start exploring! Great for kids. You can learn more about geocaching here.

  3. Warren Woods is one of the region’s premier places to view spring ephemeral wildflowers. Depending upon spring temperatures, wildflowers in bloom may include Bloodroot, Yellow Trout Lily, Hepatica, Dutchman’s Breeches, False Rue Anemone, Limestone Bittercress and much more.

Looking for other things to do in the area? Don’t forget to head over to the Southshore CVA website for more ideas!

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