By Gabby Davis
Arina P Habich/Shutterstock.com
Although Indiana is landlocked, there is still plenty of opportunity for water sports in the state! Paddleboarding has recently become one of the most popular ways to explore the waters and get in a nice workout. From lakes to rivers, and the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan in northern Indiana, check out these five awesome spots for paddleboarding in the state.
Once a former industrial site for National Steel, the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk area in northern Indiana opened in October 2008. With 57 acres to see and explore, visitors can enjoy access to the lakefront and beach, as well as trails and an accessible fishing pier. There is also a 900-foot breakwater, which is spectacular. Come and enjoy the breathtaking views of the land as you paddle about.
Established in 1925, the Indiana Dunes State Park is one of the most popular areas for water activities in northern Indiana. The whole park is a little over 2,000 acres and a mixture of beach, dunes, marshes, swaps, forests, etc. There are over 16 and a half miles of trails. As you head away from the more public beach areas, paddle your way through the open waters and watch for birds or take in the amazing views of the large sand dunes.
With three different locations to choose from, the Kankakee (pronounced kang-kuh-kee) River National Water Trail is located throughout northwestern Indiana. Starting from South Bend, Indiana, and flowing to the Illinois River, the trail is about 3,000 miles and includes 13 Indiana counties. The land is flat in some areas, and rolling in others, reflecting the effects of glaciers as they moved throughout the state. The paddleboarding areas about 133 miles, and in these areas, you will see sand and gravel and bedrock. In some areas, you’ll see farmland with very little trees, and in other areas you’ll paddle through several state parks and conversation areas.
Come to northern Valparaiso, Indiana, and check out an area that offers lakes, wetlands, ponds, and streams. Paddle along the tranquil and more private Long Lake, a more residential area or explore Rogers Lakewood Park, which has 122 acres of woodlands and two beautiful lakes, Loomis and Spectacle. Here, you can also rent boards if you do not have your own. Paddle at your own pace and enjoy the scenic wildflowers, do some bird watching, and be on the lookout for curious wildlife!
With more than 50 miles of continuous water trails between Whiting and Michigan City is the Lake Michigan Water Trail. This area is the main spot for paddleboarding in Indiana next to the Dunes. As you paddle about, you will see a diverse ecosystem which includes white sandy beaches, huge sand dunes that have taken years to accumulate and build, with some towering at 200 feet into the sky. Paddlers will also see bluffs, industrial areas, ports, and as you paddle closer to Michigan City, you will see breathtaking sunsets over the Chicago skyscrapers. Be sure to have your camera ready!