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.
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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.

Operating as usual

Only 8 days left until the Winter Lights Drive-Through opens for the season at Sunset Hill Farm! 🤩 #winterlights2020 We'...
11/20/2020

Only 8 days left until the Winter Lights Drive-Through opens for the season at Sunset Hill Farm! 🤩 #winterlights2020

We're highlighting more of our awesome sponsors today - thank you so much for helping us bring Winter Lights to our community each year!
Window World of NW Indiana
Martinis in Valpo
Porter County Health Department
We Wash
Chesterton Family Dental
Hasse Construction Company, Inc.
Davids Lawn Care, Inc.
Porter County Public Library System
Metro Recycling
Shamrock Wildlife Services

www.portercountyparks.org/winterlights

Sharing one of our favorite photos of Brincka again, captured by Steve Bensing of the Duneland Photography Club 📸The bea...
11/19/2020

Sharing one of our favorite photos of Brincka again, captured by Steve Bensing of the Duneland Photography Club 📸

The beautiful, winding trails of Brincka Cross Gardens are waiting for you! It’s the perfect place for an easy hike.

Which Winter Lights display is your favorite? One of our favorites is the farm animal lights 🐷🐮🐔We can't wait to see all...
11/18/2020

Which Winter Lights display is your favorite? One of our favorites is the farm animal lights 🐷🐮🐔

We can't wait to see all of the fun displays when the Winter Lights Drive-Through at Sunset Hill Farm kicks off on Nov. 28! #winterlights2020

We wouldn't be able to share this fun holiday tradition each year without our amazing sponsors! We want to highlight some of our Winter Lights sponsors this year - thank you so much for your support!
Horizon Bank
Walsh & Kelly
Gast Animal Hospital
Valparaiso First Insurance
Avalon Springs Health Campus
Coyne Veterinary Center - Portage
PRATT Industries
HLS, Inc.
Simko Signs
Hurst Orthodontics, PC

We recently restocked the self-guided hikes at Sunset Hill Farm County Park! Stop by this week for a guided hike around ...
11/17/2020

We recently restocked the self-guided hikes at Sunset Hill Farm County Park! Stop by this week for a guided hike around the park and learn about geology!

Did you know that we are continuing our interactive STEM program Adventures in the Park through November and December? O...
11/16/2020

Did you know that we are continuing our interactive STEM program Adventures in the Park through November and December? Our next Adventures in the Park take place this Saturday!

Adventures in the Park - Seasoned Scholars is great for kids ages 6-12. Our theme this week for Seasoned Scholars is Geology Rocks!

Little Learners is perfect for kids ages 3-5. Our theme for Little Learners on Saturday is Wacky Weather.

Register and get info for these programs at https://anc.apm.activecommunities.com/portercountyparks/activity/search?onlineSiteId=0&activity_select_param=2&activity_keyword=adventures&viewMode=list. These programs take place indoors and face masks are required.

We can't wait to see our sponsors' holiday trees again this year! It's one of our favorite parts of the Winter Lights Dr...
11/13/2020

We can't wait to see our sponsors' holiday trees again this year! It's one of our favorite parts of the Winter Lights Drive-Through! Here's a throwback picture from last year. 🎄❄️

#winterlights2020
portercountyparks.org/winterlights

Just 16 days until the Winter Lights Drive-Through at Sunset Hill Farm opens for the season! We want to say a HUGE thank...
11/12/2020

Just 16 days until the Winter Lights Drive-Through at Sunset Hill Farm opens for the season!

We want to say a HUGE thank you to our Presenting and Supporting Partners Law Offices of Michael T. Sawyier, Sworden Law, and Brown Tire of Valparaiso, Inc. Their support has made it possible for us to bring this holiday tradition to our community again this year! #winterlights2020

For more info about the Winter Lights Drive-Through, go to portercountyparks.org/winterlights.

Porter County Parks and Recreation's cover photo
11/11/2020

Porter County Parks and Recreation's cover photo

Our office is closed today in observance of Veterans Day. Thank you to all those who have served or are currently servin...
11/11/2020

Our office is closed today in observance of Veterans Day. Thank you to all those who have served or are currently serving our country!

Our parks remain open today from dawn to dusk.

Some beautiful fall views from Brincka Cross Gardens for your #MondayMotivation 🍁❤️Get outdoors and enjoy the warm weath...
11/09/2020

Some beautiful fall views from Brincka Cross Gardens for your #MondayMotivation 🍁❤️

Get outdoors and enjoy the warm weather before it ends this week!

11/05/2020
Self-Guided Hike

Introducing self-guided hikes at Sunset Hill!

Interested in going on a hike at Sunset Hill but don’t know where to start? This month, our program team put together an awesome self-guided hike that’s packed with information about the geology of our park and NWI. We’re so excited to share this with you!

These self-guided hike packets are available at the bulletin board kiosk right off the main parking lot.

The 1st place Duneland Photography Club #PhotoOfTheMonth goes to "Brincka-Cross Fall Snow" by Peggy Carter! This 1st pla...
11/04/2020

The 1st place Duneland Photography Club #PhotoOfTheMonth goes to "Brincka-Cross Fall Snow" by Peggy Carter!

This 1st place photo is a glimpse into a snowy autumn day with the changing leaves still bringing lots of bright colors. Fall at Brincka Cross Gardens is just beautiful! 🍂❄️

Check the comments below for a printable November calendar featuring all 3 November photos.

Brincka Cross Gardens fans will love the 2nd place #PhotoOfTheMonth from Duneland Photography Club! This photo is "Brinc...
11/03/2020

Brincka Cross Gardens fans will love the 2nd place #PhotoOfTheMonth from Duneland Photography Club! This photo is "Brincka-Cross - Around the Path" by Steve Bensing.

Love this view from the woodland trails at Brincka Cross! Such a beautiful view of the changing leaves.

Tomorrow we're sharing the 1st place photo and a printable November calendar featuring all 2 winning pictures.
#dunelandphotographyclub #brinckacrossgardens #portercountyparks #autumn #photography

A new month means new #PhotosOfTheMonth from the Duneland Photography Club! Over the next 3 days we're sharing the 3 pho...
11/02/2020

A new month means new #PhotosOfTheMonth from the Duneland Photography Club! Over the next 3 days we're sharing the 3 photos of the month for November.

The 3rd place photo goes to "Sunset Hill Fall Glory" by Julius (Bud) Titak! There's just something about fall at Sunset Hill that is magical. This picture captures the beautiful trees surrounding the Amphitheater in their peak colors!

Check back here tomorrow for the 2nd place photo.

#dunelandphotographyclub #sunsethillfarm #portercountyparks #fall #photography #supportlocalparks

If you’ve visited Sunset Hill Farm County Park this week, you’ve probably noticed some of our Winter Lights displays goi...
10/30/2020

If you’ve visited Sunset Hill Farm County Park this week, you’ve probably noticed some of our Winter Lights displays going up. 👀

Our awesome staff spends weeks getting all of our fun lights displays ready for the Winter Lights Drive-Through. We‘re getting excited for our favorite holiday tradition! #winterlights2020

The Winter Lights Drive-Through at Sunset Hill runs every night from Nov. 28 - Dec. 31. The lights turn on around 6pm and end around 9pm. Admission is free to the public!

Are you already planning ahead for this holiday season? 🎁You can support local parks while shopping for gifts this seaso...
10/29/2020

Are you already planning ahead for this holiday season? 🎁

You can support local parks while shopping for gifts this season by making Porter County Parks Foundation your Amazon Smile charity! When you order from Amazon, they will donate a portion of the sales to our Parks Foundation at no cost to you. Click this link (https://smile.amazon.com/ch/35-1602548) to make Porter County Parks Foundation your Amazon Smile charity!

Portage Rotary
10/28/2020

Portage Rotary

Our club had a socially-distant meeting yesterday at Sunset Hill Farm County Park where our very own Portage Rotarian - Walter Lenckos, Superintendant of Porter County Parks and Recreation - gave us a special tour of the grounds. We all learned a lot! Thanks again, Walter, it was a great meeting!

This adorable pup is enjoying fall at Sunset Hill! 🧡Reposted on Instagram • @bentleydabud
10/28/2020

This adorable pup is enjoying fall at Sunset Hill! 🧡

Reposted on Instagram • @bentleydabud

Stop by and see the Illiana Garden Railway Society trains run on Saturday at Sunset Hill Farm County Park! The trains wi...
10/27/2020

Stop by and see the Illiana Garden Railway Society trains run on Saturday at Sunset Hill Farm County Park! The trains will run from 10am to 4pm.

So much fun for kids & families! The railway garden is located by the pond at Sunset Hill. This is the last Saturday the trains will be running at the park until spring!

“I went for a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees.” -Henry David ThoreauWe’re loving the fall colors at...
10/23/2020

“I went for a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees.” -Henry David Thoreau

We’re loving the fall colors at Brincka Cross Gardens during this season! Where are you hiking this weekend? 🍂🍁

Our staff is taking advantage of the warmer weather today to start getting ready for the Winter Lights Drive-Through nex...
10/22/2020

Our staff is taking advantage of the warmer weather today to start getting ready for the Winter Lights Drive-Through next month! Today we’re stringing up lights along the fence. The Winter Lights Drive-Through at Sunset Hill Farm County Park begins on November 28 and runs through December 31!
#winterlights2020

Just over one month away until the Winter Lights Drive-Through opens at Sunset Hill! We can't wait to once again drive t...
10/21/2020

Just over one month away until the Winter Lights Drive-Through opens at Sunset Hill! We can't wait to once again drive through the loop in the evenings and marvel at the fun lights displays and holiday tree decorations. Share this post, tag a friend, and make plans to drive through with your family starting next month!

Every night from November 28 - December 31
Admission: free
Hours of the light show: 6pm to 9pm

Need a little #MondayMotivation? We're nearing peak fall foliage in NWI (https://smokymountains.com/fall-foliage-map/) a...
10/19/2020

Need a little #MondayMotivation? We're nearing peak fall foliage in NWI (https://smokymountains.com/fall-foliage-map/) and our parks are full of so many beautiful colors! Visit our parks within the next two or three weeks for some scenic fall hikes and walks.

Stop by Sunset Hill Farm County Park on Saturdays from 10am to 4pm to see the Illiana Garden Railway Society run their t...
10/17/2020

Stop by Sunset Hill Farm County Park on Saturdays from 10am to 4pm to see the Illiana Garden Railway Society run their train display! So much fun for kids & families.

They will be running the train display for the next few Saturdays - stop by and visit!

The Porter County Highway Department has been out at Sunset Hill Farm County Park working on our road that goes up near ...
10/15/2020

The Porter County Highway Department has been out at Sunset Hill Farm County Park working on our road that goes up near the Pine Shelter. We’re so thankful for them and their work, which will make it easier for park visitors to get to the Pine Shelter and Amphitheater area!

The leaves are starting to change at Brincka Cross Gardens. 🍂🧡  Brincka Cross is a hidden gem for fall hikes! Visit our ...
10/14/2020

The leaves are starting to change at Brincka Cross Gardens. 🍂🧡 Brincka Cross is a hidden gem for fall hikes! Visit our park in the next few weeks and walk through the beautiful fall foliage. Our parks have free entrance and are open to the public every day.

Weekend hiking views at Sunset Hill Farm County Park 🍂🍁🧡
10/11/2020

Weekend hiking views at Sunset Hill Farm County Park 🍂🍁🧡

We are so thankful for Teachers Credit Union (TCU) for their generous donation and support!
10/09/2020

We are so thankful for Teachers Credit Union (TCU) for their generous donation and support!

Stop by Sunset Hill Farm County Park tomorrow morning at 10am for our last Meet the Animals program of the year! This is...
10/08/2020

Stop by Sunset Hill Farm County Park tomorrow morning at 10am for our last Meet the Animals program of the year! This is one of our most popular programs and is so fun for families and kids to feed and pet the animals. Then after Meet the Animals, join us for our Nature Hike at 11am! Both programs are free and great for all ages.

On Saturday morning at 10am, we will be shearing the sheep at Sunset Hill Farm. We get lots of questions about the anima...
10/07/2020

On Saturday morning at 10am, we will be shearing the sheep at Sunset Hill Farm. We get lots of questions about the animals at Sunset Hill - this is a great opportunity to learn more about caring for the sheep at our park!

These pictures were taken at the sheep shearing last year at the Outdoor Wildlife Festival.

We're so ready for this week's Adventures in the Park - Little Learners program on Thursday! Kids ages 3-5 will have a b...
10/06/2020

We're so ready for this week's Adventures in the Park - Little Learners program on Thursday! Kids ages 3-5 will have a blast at our nature & STEM program that includes story time and a wagon ride. This week we're getting a close up view of the animals living on our farm! Children will help feed, groom, and collect eggs while learning the importance of taking proper care of animals and giving them lots of love.

There are still some spots left! Register for this program at https://apm.activecommunities.com/portercountyparks/Activity_Search/adventures-in-the-park-little-learners/1514.

We’re excited to announce that we will have our Winter Lights Drive-Through again this year at Sunset Hill Farm County P...
10/05/2020

We’re excited to announce that we will have our Winter Lights Drive-Through again this year at Sunset Hill Farm County Park beginning Nov. 28! Drive through our park any night from Nov. 28 through Dec. 31 this year and see all of our fun lights displays. Entrance is free and open to the public!

We will not be having the Winter Lights Festival this year due to concerns for Covid-19 and large gatherings. We’re still so excited and thankful that we can continue the drive-through – one of our most favorite traditions.

Hop in the car with your family next month and make our Winter Lights Drive-Through part of your holiday season tradition. ❤️💚

www.portercountyparks.org/winterlights

Happy Monday! Here's a beautiful fall picture for your Monday. 🧡Stay tuned later today for an exciting announcement from...
10/05/2020

Happy Monday! Here's a beautiful fall picture for your Monday. 🧡

Stay tuned later today for an exciting announcement from our department!

And finally...the 1st place October #PhotoOfTheMonth is "Sunset Hill Farm Fall" by Scott Miller!Is there anything better...
10/02/2020

And finally...the 1st place October #PhotoOfTheMonth is "Sunset Hill Farm Fall" by Scott Miller!

Is there anything better than our parks in the fall? Scott captured the bright and colorful peak of autumn at Sunset Hill in this photo. Great job! ❤️🧡🍂🍁

This wraps up another month of amazing Duneland Photography Club photos! Check the comments below for a printable October calendar featuring all 3 winning pictures.

#dunelandphotographyclub #sunsethillfarm #portercountyparks #fall #autumn #parks #photography

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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]

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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

Nearby government services

Comments

Well. That was a bit scary of a walk today. Porter County Parks and Recreation do you know what kind it is? It went into the water and quite quickly swam into the high grass. 🐍🐸🐢
Good morning, Are the playgrounds still closed? I thought they were but someone invited us to a playdate. I declined bc we're still limiting contact but it made me wonder if they were even open? I thought they weren't. (A new post/update might be needed letting us all know either way with the state slowly reopening 👍) Thank you in advance!
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