Location: 775 Meridian Road, Valparaiso, IN 46385
Trail Length: Several trails, up to 5 miles easy/moderate
Hours: 6am to 9pm
Entrance Cost: Free
Restrooms: Yes, but when we were there they were closed
Bloggers Thoughts: (Donna Lind)
With some free time on a late afternoon, we decided to visit Sunset Hill Farm and take a quick walk in the woods. Sunset Hill Farm was once a working dairy farm owned by Colonel Robert H. Murray, who upon his death wanted it to be developed into a park for the residents of Porter County. The sandy trails are well kept and well marked, probably owing to the fact that cross-country meets are held here. We decided to start out on Trail 3 that makes a small loop and leads to a short path off the main trail to the gravesite of Colonel Murray, a peaceful little clearing surrounded by forest and a bench for restful contemplation.
Instead of taking the Trail 3 loop, we took connecting Trail 1 that borders the Murray Woods Nature Preserve and connects with Trail 4, 4a and 4b. Trail 4 leads south to a campground on the farm property, but we chose 4a that turns back into the woods. This trail winds through strong, tall trees, past two large, rusty iron vats that might have been used during bygone dairy farm days, and down an incline to come out onto the grassy knoll surrounding an Amphitheater.
It was an easy hike, full of bird sounds and forest quiet, but if you go in summer, don’t make the mistake we did and forget the insect repellant.