Family Fun

Nature Walks

Wild Flower Walk

Gibson Woods

Friday, May 25, 2018 at 9:30 AM

More than 300 species of native plants are found at Gibson Woods, including a variety of rare and unique species. Join a park naturalist May 25th and June 8th for a walk through the preserve to learn more about our native flora. See the many varieties of colors and forms that these flowers produce. Gain a few identification tips and discover how flowers are a benefit to the environment. Comfortable shoes and insect repellent are recommended. Program is free but registration is required, call 219-844-3188.

Monthly Farm and Nature

Buckley Homestead

Learn about the latest happenings on and around the farm as you walk through Buckley Homestead with gardener and naturalist Cathy Misch. Meet at the parking lot in front of the Visitor's Center and venture from there. Each walk will take a look at something different depending on the time of year, and interests of the group. Come out and join us every 2nd Monday May-October at 4 pm! (May 14, June 11, July 9, August 13, September 10, October 8) Would you like to do this tour with your scout group, garden club, or homeschool group? Schedule a Farm & Nature Walk by calling the Main Business Office at 219-769-7275 at least 3 weeks in advance.

Monthly Family Nature Walk

Gibson Woods

Bring the family to walk the trails with a park naturalist at Gibson Woods and learn about the oak savanna and its inhabitants. Join us each month to experience nature’s fascinating flora and fauna as the seasons change. Happening every third Saturday in March-November at 9:30 am. Program is free but registration is required, call 219-844-3188.

Forest Trail

Night Walks

Summer Solstice Hike and Campfire

Thursday, June 21, 2018 from 8-9:30 PM

Oak Ridge Prairie

It’s the longest day of the year, and the official start to summer. Celebrate with a guided hike through Oak Ridge Prairie that will wrap up with a campfire and s’mores. Pre-registration encouraged so we know how many snacks to provide.Parking fee waived with registration. $5 fee for campfire.

Friday the 13th Almost Full Moon Hike

Friday, July 13, 2018 from 8:30-9:30 PM

Gibson Woods

Nothing spooky about this night when the moon is almost blocked out. Explore Gibson Woods as the sun is setting and learn more about your night senses.

Sunset Hike 

Friday, July 27, 2018 from 7-8:30 PM

Oak Ridge Prairie

Enjoy a guided hike alongside a Lake County Parks Naturalist. The evening sunset is especially beautiful at Oak Ridge Prairie, and the park has unique vistas where you can see the full moon rising. Gate fee applies.

Summers End Hike

Friday, August 31, 2018  from 6-7:30 PM

Gibson Woods

Summer is winding down for another year. Join us as we enjoy an evening hike around Gibson Woods to steal a few more summer moments. Please call 219-844-3188 to register. No organized groups please.


Kid Fun

Monthly Nature Playdates

Designed just for kids ages 2-6 along with their grown-up this series of playdates invites visitors get out and explore all their different Lake County Parks. Parks and their playdates: May 18 @ Deep River, June 15 @ Buckley Homestead, July 20 @ Gibson Woods, August 17 @ Oak Ridge Prairie (gate fee waived but must be pre-registered).

I Spy a Young Naturalist 

Gibson Woods

Foster a natural curiosity in your little one as you venture outdoors and ‘spy’ on what’s happening around Gibson Woods Nature Preserve. This program, designed for kids ages 3-5 with an adult, will include a story, craft, snack, and lots of outdoor exploration! This program happens every 2nd Monday of the month from March-December from 9:30-11:30 AM. This program is $5 per child with caregiver.

The Buzz about Pollinators 

Friday, June 22, 2018 from 9:30-11 AM

Gibson Woods

Pollinators are all about the BUZZ in the animal world... but why? Come to Gibson Woods during National Pollinators Week and learn all about the importance of these natural wonders. Hopefully we’ll even see some pollination in action!

Pond Exploration

Tuesday, July 3, 2018 from 9:30-11AM

Gibson Woods

Ever wonder what lives underwater in a pond besides fish? Join us at Gibson Woods as we collect and look at some of the small, yet spectacular, species living in the watery world. Wear shoes and clothes that you don’t mind getting a little dirty. Gate fee applies.

Milkweed and Monarchs, Oh my!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018 from 10-11:30 AM

Gibson Woods

Do you know the monarch butterfly’s favorite food? No, it’s not pizza... Milkweed! Come discover with us a Gibson Woods the amazing partnership between milkweed plants and monarch butterflies, and learn some simple ways you, too, can become a monarch scientist.

Slime, Scales, Shells Stroll

Wednesday, July 25, 2018 from 1-2:30 PM

Gibson Woods

This slime, scales, and shell stroll is more than just a tongue twister! We’ll learn about all the cool adaptations turtles, snakes, frogs, and toads have made to suit their unique lifestyles. All different types of these critters have made homes in Gibson Woods and on our stroll through the park we’ll hopefully spot a few!

Frogs at Deep River

National Hike Celebrations

National Trails Day

Saturday, June 2, 2018 from 9:30 - 11:30 AM

Stoney Run

This day is all about trails. Celebrate National Trails Day and meet a Lake County Parks Naturalist at Stoney Run County Park for a guided trail hike. Parking fee is waived if you pre-register.

National Get Outdoor Hike and Campfire

Saturday, June 9, 2018 from 7:30-9 PM

Deep River 

Get out. Go play. Explore! It's National Get Outdoors Day and there's no better way to spend it than getting outdoors! Join us as we explore the woods at Deep River with a guided hike, and stick around for fun around the campfire. Please bring a flashlight, and meet in the parking lot behind the Mill and Visitors Center. This program is $5 per person. Please call to register so we know how many to prepare for.