• Kirk Gaw

Getting The Most Out Of Potato Creek State Park

Plenty of DNR Activities planned for this Summer in the Walkerton Area! The most popular place is found just 8 miles north of town at Potato Creek State Park! From painting, holding snakes, scavenger hunts, stargazing with astronomers, feeding birds, and watching eagles? If you’re in the mood for a hike or a bike ride? The park has everything from uninhabited forests to old farm sites along with wetlands and prairies! This preserved area is perfect for nature lovers looking for a great way to spend an afternoon.

Why potato? The story – as told by the St. Joseph County Public Library – begins with the area’s Native American population. Our local tribes dug food from the creek banks. These plants had potato-like roots so early English settlers referred to them “wild potatoes”. Thus, Potato Creek State Park got its name. The park was officially designated as a protected state park in 1977. It has been a popular place for outdoor enthusiasts ever since. Boasting a 327-acre lake – Lake Worster – a swimming beach, boat launch, and Nature Center, Potato Creek is teeming with activities for outdoor enthusiasts. One of the most popular activities at Potato Creek is the hiking and biking!

Potato Creek’s trails are numerous and sure to appeal to beginner’s and pros alike. There are 6 hiking trails ranging from easy to rugged terrain, but there are lots to explore if you want to stray off the beaten path. A great path for beginners is the Peppermint Loop Trail. This trail begins at the Nature Center and travels 0.9 miles along the lake and through young woodlands. Trail #2 is a bit more difficult, winding through hills and forests for 2 miles before arriving at the park’s highest point. Interested in the wetlands of Indiana? The Friends Wetland Trail passes three wetland observation decks along its 0.75-mile trek.

For all you biking enthusiasts, there are a number of wonderful bike paths at Potato Creek. In accommodating the mountain biking population, the park has partnered with the Northern Indiana Mountain Bike Association to create a 6.6-mile beginner pathway perfect for catching the scenery. There is also a regular bicycle trail spanning 3.3 miles at a moderate difficulty. This wonderful ride starts at the boat rental station and travels through woods and wetland.

Want more information about Potato Creek’s trails before you plan your trip? Check out the state park’s trail map for further information:

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