Porter County Parks and Recreation

Porter County Parks and Recreation Porter County Parks and Recreation is committed to providing a gateway into the natural beauty of our area through programs and parks.

Porter County Parks and Recreation currently consists of four major parks and facilities, which are listed below. Sunset Hill Farm County Park 775 Meridian Road in Valparaiso Brincka Cross Gardens 427 E. Furness Road in Pine Township Dunn's Bridge 500 East over the Kankakee River in Kouts Calumet Trail Entrances at Mineral Springs Road in Chesterton, and the Porter/La Porter County Line

Mission: The mission of the Porter County Parks and Recreation Board and Department is to preserve, protect and manage the natural, cultural and recreational resources within a diverse park system.

Planning to spend some time outdoors this weekend? ☀️😎 We can't wait for some beautiful spring weather tomorrow! Learn a...
05/15/2020

Planning to spend some time outdoors this weekend? ☀️😎 We can't wait for some beautiful spring weather tomorrow! Learn about our parks and the activities they offer at portercountyparks.org/porterparks.

Ever wonder what kind of creepy crawlies live in our ponds? Angie, a Naturalist & Educator for Porter County Parks, show...
05/14/2020
Macroinvertebrates: Tiny Creatures that Make Ponds Amazing — Porter County Parks and Recreation

Ever wonder what kind of creepy crawlies live in our ponds? Angie, a Naturalist & Educator for Porter County Parks, shows us some of the cool macroinvertebrates that she found at the pond at Sunset Hill Farm. Check out our newest blog! portercountyparks.org/blog/macroinvertebrates

Angie shows us some cool creepy crawlies that live in the pond at Sunset Hill Farm! Many of the creatures we find in the water sources at Sunset Hill Farm are called macroinvertebrates, which means they don’t have a spine and are small but can still be seen with the naked eye.

Have you ever seen opossums outside your house? What many don’t know is that opossums are great for preventing the sprea...
05/12/2020
Springtime Babies: Opossums — Porter County Parks and Recreation

Have you ever seen opossums outside your house? What many don’t know is that opossums are great for preventing the spread of disease in the wild. Autumn explains in our newest blog post what you can do if you run across a baby opossum.

Check out the blog post at portercountyparks.org/blog/springtime-babies-opossumns.

Have you ever seen opossums outside your house? What many don’t know is that they’re actually great for preventing the spread of disease in the wild. Autumn explains what you can do if you run across a baby opossum.

05/11/2020
How to Social Distance at Local Parks

Abby, a Naturalist for Porter County Parks, shares how to visit parks safely during this time. We hope you can spend some time enjoying nature this weekend!

We have some exciting news! We acquired 36 acres in Pine Township last month, right next to Brincka Cross Gardens. The n...
05/07/2020

We have some exciting news! We acquired 36 acres in Pine Township last month, right next to Brincka Cross Gardens. The new property will eventually offer more trails and natural habitats. The goal for this land acquisition is to expand Brincka Cross Gardens to include the new 36 acres.

We can't wait to provide even more opportunities for our community! Read more about our new land acquisition at portercountyparks.org/news-1/expand-brincka-cross.

#portercountyparks #brinckacrossgardens #nwi #parks #community #recreation

The acquisition and plans to expand were funded completely by grants. These lands are being conserved, in part, by funding and technical assistance made available as mitigation for impacts caused by the construction and maintenance of the Enbridge Energy, Limited Partnership, 6B Pipeline in partnership with The Conservation Fund, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Lake Michigan Coastal Program.

Looking for ways to fight boredom at home? Madison shares some ideas that can transform your day from ordinary to fun an...
05/06/2020
Fight Boredom — Porter County Parks and Recreation

Looking for ways to fight boredom at home? Madison shares some ideas that can transform your day from ordinary to fun and creative! Check out our newest blog post at portercountyparks.org/blog/fight-boredom.

Looking for ways to fight boredom? It’s easy to spend this time at home feeling bored and unmotivated. Here are some fun and creative ideas and activities that you can do at home to brighten your days.

05/05/2020
Craft Time with Becky

Ready for another episode of Craft Time with Becky? Coach Becky shares this fun and creative craft that’s perfect for kids at home! Grab some paint, Q-tips, and paper for this easy and engaging activity.

In case you missed it last week, head over to our blog and check out our newest article about the geology of Northwest I...
05/04/2020
Geology of Northwest Indiana: Glaciers, Moraines, and More! — Porter County Parks and Recreation

In case you missed it last week, head over to our blog and check out our newest article about the geology of Northwest Indiana! Abby shares about the unique landscape here, including how Roller Coaster Hill at Sunset Hill Farm was formed. This article is a great STEM resource for kids at home!

Click here to read the article: www.portercountyparks.org/blog/geology-of-northwest-indiana.

Have you ever wondered why our landscape here in Northwest Indiana looks the way it does? Abby shares fun information about the unique geology of Northwest Indiana!

We're excited to announce Duneland Photography Club's 1st place #PhotoOfTheMonth - "Brincka Spring Flowers" by Carol Est...
05/03/2020

We're excited to announce Duneland Photography Club's 1st place #PhotoOfTheMonth - "Brincka Spring Flowers" by Carol Estes!

This beautiful photo gives us a glimpse into spring at Brincka Cross Gardens. Lots of plants beginning to bloom and so many beautiful colors! Amazing job, Carol!

Check the comments below for a printable May calendar featuring this month's winning photos.

#dunelandphotographyclub #portercountyparks #brinckacrossgardens #spring #flowers #photography #art

The 2nd place Duneland Photography Club #PhotoOfTheMonth goes to Deb Stipp for "Thomas the Train at Sunset Hill." Great ...
05/02/2020

The 2nd place Duneland Photography Club #PhotoOfTheMonth goes to Deb Stipp for "Thomas the Train at Sunset Hill." Great job, Deb!

We love this picture of Illiana Garden Railway Society's train at Sunset Hill Farm!

Check back here tomorrow for the 1st place announcement and a printable May calendar featuring all 3 winning photos.

#dunelandphotographyclub #portercountyparks #photography #thomasthetrain #sunsethillfarm #parks #art

05/01/2020

One of our ducks at Sunset Hill Farm has a hurt leg and is in a separate cage to keep her from moving around too much. As soon as she is better, she will be back with the other ducks!

We're sharing the 3rd place Duneland Photography Club #PhotoOfTheMonth - "Brincka-Cross Spring" by Steve Bensing! We lov...
05/01/2020

We're sharing the 3rd place Duneland Photography Club #PhotoOfTheMonth - "Brincka-Cross Spring" by Steve Bensing!

We love the colors and sunlight in this photo! Brincka Cross Gardens is so full of life and beauty in the spring. Great job, Steve!

Stay tuned for the 2nd place announcement tomorrow.

#dunelandphotographyclub #portercountyparks #brinckacrossgardens #spring #flowers #photography #art #parks #nwi

04/30/2020

Tomorrow we're going to begin sharing the first of the May #PhotosOfTheMonth from Duneland Photography Club! Check back here tomorrow to see the photo announcement!

Are you curious about why our landscape here in Northwest Indiana looks the way it does? You can see the impact of glaci...
04/30/2020
Geology of Northwest Indiana: Glaciers, Moraines, and More! — Porter County Parks and Recreation

Are you curious about why our landscape here in Northwest Indiana looks the way it does? You can see the impact of glaciers in places like our very own Roller Coaster Hill at Sunset Hill Farm. Abby shares fun information in our blog about the unique geology of Northwest Indiana!

Click here to read more: portercountyparks.org/blog/geology-of-northwest-indiana.

Have you ever wondered why our landscape here in Northwest Indiana looks the way it does? Abby shares fun information about the unique geology of Northwest Indiana!

Ever wondered what you should do if you run across a baby bird that needs help? Autumn, a Naturalist & Educator at Porte...
04/29/2020
Springtime Babies: Birds — Porter County Parks and Recreation

Ever wondered what you should do if you run across a baby bird that needs help? Autumn, a Naturalist & Educator at Porter County Parks, shares some great advice and information about baby birds in our newest blog!

Link: portercountyparks.org/blog/springtime-babies-birds

Ever wonder what to do if you run across a baby bird that might need help? Because birds are such delicate creatures, it can be scary and confusing if you don’t know what to do! Autumn, a Naturalist & Educator, shares what you can do to help.

04/28/2020
Brincka Cross Gardens April 2020

Brincka Cross Gardens in the spring is full of colors! The daffodils are in full bloom this week. Here's a quick glimpse at the beauty of Brincka Cross during this season.

Check out the StoryWalk at our park! Thanks to Porter County Public Library System for this fun activity for kids at Sun...
04/27/2020

Check out the StoryWalk at our park! Thanks to Porter County Public Library System for this fun activity for kids at Sunset Hill Farm County Park!

What a lovely day! 🌞 Why not take a short hike at Sunset Hill Farm County Park and enjoy our new Storywalk book?

A couple parts of the trails at Brincka Cross Gardens are fenced off because of dead trees hanging over the paths. The t...
04/27/2020

A couple parts of the trails at Brincka Cross Gardens are fenced off because of dead trees hanging over the paths. The trails are still open - visitors will just need to go around the fenced areas until we can get the trees cleared away and it's safe to walk through those spots again.

Thank you for your patience! We hope you can still stop by the park and see the beautiful spring plants that are blooming around Brincka!

It's daffodil season! Did you know that Brincka Cross Gardens has the most varieties of daffodils in Northwest Indiana? ...
04/24/2020
Brincka Cross Daffodils — Porter County Parks and Recreation

It's daffodil season! Did you know that Brincka Cross Gardens has the most varieties of daffodils in Northwest Indiana? Stop by Brincka Cross in the next week to see the daffodils in full bloom! One of the most scenic spots in the park to see these plants is Daffodil Hill.

Learn more about the daffodils and other spring plants at Brincka Cross Gardens at portercountyparks.org/blog/brincka-cross-daffodils.

Brincka Cross Gardens is filled with daffodils each spring! Learn all about the daffodils at this park and then stop by to see them for yourself.

Just a reminder - stay 6 feet away from other visitors at our parks, and wash your hands before and after you visit. You...
04/23/2020
How to Practice Social Distancing at Parks — Porter County Parks and Recreation

Just a reminder - stay 6 feet away from other visitors at our parks, and wash your hands before and after you visit. You can still spend time outdoors while social distancing! Learn about our parks and what they offer at portercountyparks.org/porterparks.

Check out this blog post for more information: www.portercountyparks.org/blog/how-to-practice-social-distancing-at-parks

Need some fresh air and open space? Porter County Parks properties are still open! Visit Brincka Cross Gardens, Brookdale Park, or Sunset Hill Farm to get some fresh air and exercise while maintaining your social distance. We’re sharing some tips on utilizing our parks safely during this time!

Happy Earth Day! We hope you can get outside today and spend some time enjoying nature!
04/22/2020

Happy Earth Day! We hope you can get outside today and spend some time enjoying nature!

04/22/2020
Snacks with Becky

Coach Becky makes one of her favorite snacks - chocolate chip trail mix balls! She shares a recipe that she enjoys with her own twist. This snack is easy to make and delicious!

04/20/2020
Brookdale Park Spring 2020

It’s a beautiful day to be outside! Grab some fishing poles and head over to Brookdale Park for some catch-and-release fishing. Or if you’re the mood for wildlife viewing, check out the different birds here that are singing away!

Reminder: practice social distancing and wash your hands before and after visiting our parks.

How do you practice gratitude? This wellness exercise helps you focus on positivity in areas of your life. Becky shares ...
04/16/2020
Practicing Gratitude — Porter County Parks and Recreation

How do you practice gratitude? This wellness exercise helps you focus on positivity in areas of your life. Becky shares how she practices gratitude in our newest blog post. Read it here: portercountyparks.org/blog/practicing-gratitude.

Right now we need to treasure the unexpected opportunities of the moment, and one way to do this is to practice gratitude. Practicing gratitude is so important for your wellness and mental health, especially in a time when everyone is facing struggles. Here are some examples of how Becky practices g

04/16/2020
Sunset Hill 5K Course

Check out this video from Coach Becky showing the Foot Pursuit 5K Course at Sunset Hill Farm County Park last month! Sunset Hill is a great location for running, walking, and hiking.

Just a reminder: even though it's cold outside today, there are brighter and warmer days ahead!
04/15/2020

Just a reminder: even though it's cold outside today, there are brighter and warmer days ahead!

Ever wondered where turtles go in the winter? Autumn shares about what turtles do to survive the cold weather and where ...
04/14/2020
Where Do Turtles Go in the Winter? — Porter County Parks and Recreation

Ever wondered where turtles go in the winter? Autumn shares about what turtles do to survive the cold weather and where you can spot them at Sunset Hill!

Go to portercountyparks.org/blog/where-do-turtles-go-in-the-winter.

Not many people know what turtles do to survive during cold weather. Autumn, a Naturalist & Educator for Porter County Parks, shares information about where turtles go and how they survive in the winter.

04/13/2020
Chair and Couch Yoga

Need a quick morning break? Coach Becky leads us on some easy yoga stretches you can practice on a couch, chair, or bed at any time of the day!

It's a beautiful day to be outside!#portercountyparks #brinckacrossgardens #practicesocialdistancing #daffodils #nature ...
04/11/2020

It's a beautiful day to be outside!

#portercountyparks #brinckacrossgardens #practicesocialdistancing #daffodils #nature #parks #spring

Brookdale Park is the perfect place to go for a scenic walk and have a picnic outside while social distancing! Just a re...
04/10/2020

Brookdale Park is the perfect place to go for a scenic walk and have a picnic outside while social distancing! Just a reminder: if you visit our parks during this time, remember to stay 6 feet away from other people and wash your hands before and after your visit. Stay safe!

04/09/2020

Ready for another episode of Craft Time with Becky?
Here's a fun idea you can easily do at home - make a bird feeder!

#CraftTimeWithBecky #portercountyparks
#crafts #art #stayathome

Here are some great tips on how to stay safe and social distance while you visit parks! Check out this article from Abby...
04/09/2020
How to Practice Social Distancing at Parks — Porter County Parks and Recreation

Here are some great tips on how to stay safe and social distance while you visit parks! Check out this article from Abby, a Naturalist & Educator for Porter County Parks: www.portercountyparks.org/blog/how-to-practice-social-distancing-at-parks.

Need some fresh air and open space? Porter County Parks properties are still open! Visit Brincka Cross Gardens, Brookdale Park, or Sunset Hill Farm to get some fresh air and exercise while maintaining your social distance. We’re sharing some tips on utilizing our parks safely during this time!

Address

155 E Indiana Ave, Ste 304
Valparaiso, IN
46383

General information

Porter County Parks and Recreation is committed to delivering youth, adult and school programs to the residents of Porter County, while also providing a gateway into the natural beauty of our area through its unique parks and trails. Our Park to School Nature Education for grades K though 5 are presented in every Porter County elementary school. Wellness and Enrichment programs/workshops for youth and adults are also available. We offer a variety of activities at Sunset Hill Farm County Park, located at 775 Meridian Road in Valparaiso. Popular events at the park include Spring Out to Sunset(May), Summer Day Camps (June-Aug), NIHPA's Harvest Fest & Antique Equipment Show (September) and Winter Lights Night (November). Brincka Cross Gardens is located in Pine Township and is open from spring to fall. Dunn's Bridge stretches across the Kankakee River and is the only spot in the county where small boat access is available to the river. The Calumet Trail offers 9.1 miles of crushed limestone that runs between U.S. 12 and the Indiana Dunes State Park. For more information, call 219-465-3586, or e-mail [email protected]

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when Porter County Parks and Recreation posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Business

Send a message to Porter County Parks and Recreation:

Videos

Our Story

Porter County Parks and Recreation currently consists of five major parks and facilities which are open to the public:

Sunset Hill Farm County Park 775 Meridian Road in Valparaiso Brincka Cross Gardens 427 E. Furness Road in Pine Township Brookdale Park

919 N. 50 W. in Liberty Township

Dunn's Bridge 500 East over the Kankakee River in Kouts Calumet Trail Entrances at Mineral Springs Road in Chesterton, and the Porter/La Porter County Line

Except for the Prairie Magic Music Festival in August and the Winter Lights Night Festival in November, entrance into the parks is free.

Nearby government services


Comments

Can you please post a schedule of when each band is performing? I may have to duck in and out throughout the day for work reasons and would like to know who is playing when so I can try to rearrange my schedule for maximum festival time. Thanks!
Does the splash pad at founders Park shut down at a certain time or is it on all the time?
Thank you Porter County Parks and Recreation for your support! Hope to see everyone there on August 11, 2019.
Approx how long does it take to drive through the lights at Sunset Hill Farm?
Valparaiso needs a dog park!!
Just called to find out when the new dog park was opening. The lady said in about a year. What??? They have had the land since 2016. How hard is it to put up some fencing and a parking lot??? What the hell Valpo????
Found today at Sunset Hill!!! Will hide again for another lucky person to find!!! ❄️🎄❄️
Haunted Trails is coming soon… 🎃👻
What are the plans to repair the Calumet Trail after NIPSCO finishes their pipeline work next month? I miss my bike rides on the trail. Thank you