Northeast Indiana has numerous parks where people from all walks of life can have fun and explore. From animal parks to historical parks, there is something for everyone in northeast Indiana. Many of the parks in northeast Indiana can be accessed for free, so consider beginning your exploration, and find out what some of the finest parks in Indiana have to offer.
Because fees and park hours are subject to change, contact park personnel for current prices and hours of operation.
Gene Stratton Porter State Historic Site
This northeast Indiana park, which was the home of famous author and naturalist Gene Stratton Porter from 1913 to 1920, is open for the public to explore. It is located at 1205 Pleasant Point near Rome City Indiana. The 123-acre property borders Sylvan Lake. Visitors to Gene Stratton Porter Historic Site can wander the grounds and appreciate the beauty that once inspired Gene. There they can view well-tended perennial gardens, a natural spring, incredible old trees, and a unique wisteria-covered pergola. Visitors can also see the beautiful mausoleum where Gene is buried next to her daughter, Jeannette Meehan Porter. For a nominal fee, guests to the park can take a guided tour through Gene’s home. The well-kept home is full of priceless treasures collected by Gene and her family, and it holds original pieces of furniture and mementos of her life. Visitors can also enjoy a scenic boat tour for a small fee. There is also a visitor center where guests can learn about the life and work of Gene Stratton Porter. There they can view original photos, handwritten notes, and other interesting artifacts that provide insight into Gene’s life on Sylvan lake. Park visitors can bring a picnic lunch to enjoy under the shelter, so be sure to plan on staying the entire day. There is a great deal to do and see at this awe-inspiring Indiana park. Call 260-854-3790 for current fees and additional information.
David Rogers Park
This was the first park in LaGrange County Indiana, and is located on property once owned by Doctor David Rogers. This northeast Indiana park is located just a few miles from the small town of Topeka. Find the park by going north on county road 550 S. until you reach 250 W. Take 250 W. north until you reach the park. Admission there is free. Doctor Rogers, who passed away in 1871, was well known in the area as a philanthropist. He provided medical services free of charge to those who otherwise could not afford healthcare. The park has beautiful rolling hills, a recreated pioneer village, and a small stream along the edge of the grounds. There is also a small playground and picnic shelter. There you can enjoy a picnic lunch in the peaceful heart of Amish country. Toward the end of summer, a pioneer living history festival is held there. Outhouse facilities are available in the park. Call the LaGrange County Parks & Recreation Department at (260) 463-4022 for current festival dates and additional information.
Delt Church County Park
After visiting David Rogers Park, take a short drive east down 550 S. to county road 200 W. There you will find Delt Church County Park. A narrow gravel drive will take you through a meadow that meets another gravel road that encircles the park. Within the center of the park, visitors can participate in sports of their choice on the expansive, well-manicured, grassy field. The other side of the gravel road is bordered by the little Elkhart river. Guests to the park can fish in the river or pond, which is located near the park entrance, or they can just sit back and enjoy the sounds of nature. There is no admission fee to this northeast Indiana park, and outhouse facilities are available.
Chain O’ Lakes State Park
This 2,718 acre state park is one of the most impressive parks in northeast Indiana. There are 11 beautiful glacier-formed lakes within the park. Eight of the lakes connect, making this park is a fisherman’s paradise. Paddle boats, canoes, and row boats are available for rent or you can bring your own. The park also has a very nice beach with a well-stocked concession stand. Guests to the park can hike the many trails, and they can visit the nature center. The nature center has many interesting displays. Guests can see many species of reptiles and fish that are native to northeast Indiana. They can also learn about native birds, insects, and a variety of mammals. Chain O’ Lakes State Park also has camping facilities that offer sites with electricity as well as primitive sites. A well-stocked camp store is also on the premises. For those who would rather stay in a cabin, there are family camping cabins for rent. The rustic cabins are nestled in the woods where guests can enjoy the beauty of nature. During winter months when the grounds are covered with snow, cross country skiing becomes very popular. Chain O’ Lakes State Park is located just off State Road 9, approximately 4 miles south of Albion Indiana. Call the park to reserve a camping site or cabin or for additional information. The number to call is (260) 636-2654 or (866) 622-6746.
Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center
Located just outside of Wolf Lake Indiana, Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center is a northeastern Indiana gem. At Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center, visitors can hike 5 miles of natural trails and observe nature at its finest. Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center is owned by Goshen College and is an integrated refuge for educational programs. This Indiana state nature preserve is a fantastic place to birdwatch and take photographs. The park is located on the west side of High Lake, and the address is 2388 South 500 West. Admission to the park is free, but donations are greatly appreciated. Call (260) 799-5869 for additional information.
Black Pine Animal Park
There are more than 40 endangered and exotic species of animals at this unique 12.5 acre animal park. Many of the animals residing there have been rescued from lives of performing. There are numerous reptiles, birds, bears, big cats, primates, lamas, and camels, just to name a few. Visitors to the park can take a guided tour or walk through the grounds at their leisure. There are also feeding tours available where guests can observe feeding time at the park. There is a very nice gift shop that serves refreshments as well as a picnic shelter. Parking is free, and there are complimentary strollers and wagons available for those with small children. The park is located at 349 West Albion Road in Albion Indiana. Call the park at (260) 636-7383 for current admission fees and additional information.