Submitted by: Laura Niemiec
Location: 0185 S. Holmesville Road Hours: 7am to Sunset Pet Friendly: Pets must be on leashes Parking: Paved parking at North Entrance, gravel parking at South Entrance (with Handicap parking spots paved) Restrooms: Yes, in parking areas Trail Length: 4 trails, total length of 3.5 miles
Blogger Thoughts: – Peaceful park on the shores of the Little Calumet River – A bit rugged and wetland, be sure to sturdy waterproof boots/hiking shoes (especially after it rains) – Bring bug spray & water if you trek Trail 4
My first thought upon entering Red Mill County Park, as I drove the winding road at the North Entrance was, “How have I never been here?”.
As the main lot comes into view you are treated to a vast clearing with a rolling landscape, the main office/hall, and a peek of the wetlands behind the hall. To the left is a playground and picnic shelter, and beyond that you will find Trails 1, 2, and 3. To the right are the restrooms and a little further past them is a row of exercise equipment (think sit-ups, pull-ups, push-ups and the like). Further on, you will cross a bridge over the Little Calumet River and into the South Entrance lot. Just beyond the lot you will continue onto Trail 4.
Trails 1-3 are dirt trails just over a mile altogether. Unfortunately, during this trip, I couldn’t traverse Trail 3 in totality due to standing water but Trail 1 and 2 offered a short trek dotted with blooming wildflowers and views of the wetlands. If you are looking for a short, quiet stroll with minimal elevation change, this route is for you.
Trail 4 is a bit of an adventure. The trail starts off paved, transitions to gravel then becomes a mix of dirt, sand and grass as you move deeper into the woods. Be sure to wear waterproof shoes/boots (I’d recommend boots) if you visit after it rains as this is a wetland area and there will be some standing water and mud. A short part of this trail travels next to the railroad. I thought was neat as I trekked into the woodlands, but a bit scary as I headed back when a freight train zoomed along side of me with the sound echoing through the woods. This trail branches out into three different directions and you’ll have to back track to return. Some highlights of this trail are the two bridges you’ll cross, strolling next to hidden wetlands as you traverse deeper into the woods, and a variety of flora and fauna.
Aside from the trails, there are two facilities for rental: (1) The Patricia J. Smith Hall and (2) the Environmental Education Center. Check out the link below for more information on them. Also, if you have a valid Indiana Fishing license, you can fish at Red Mill.
Red Mill County Park: http://www.laportecountyparks.org/redmill.html