By Gabby Davis
If you’re hungry for an outdoor adventure, head to northern Indiana to enjoy a cross-country skiing trip unlike any other. The awe-inspiring Indiana Dunes are a sight to see during the winter, and are even more striking while trekking through on a pair of cross-country skis. Not only is there great skiing in the area, but plenty of opportunity for invigorating snowshoeing, wine tasting, café dining, and more. Here’s the best cross-country skiing adventure in Indiana.
While Indiana may only have two ski resorts, there are still plenty of places to go cross-country skiing, primarily up in the northern regions of the state. Chesterton, Indiana, which is home to the Indiana Dunes State Park, is a prime spot for cross-country skiing. The best trail is the Glenwood Dunes Trail, which is nicely groomed and features hills for cross-country skiers of all levels and experience.
If you’re a fan of snowshoeing, the best spot to do this is at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in Porter, Indiana, which is just a short drive from Chesterton. Take a guided snowshoe walk with one of the Dune’s rangers, and enjoy the beauty of winter up at the Dunes.
For someplace great to stay while you enjoy the amazing outdoor activities, make the Hilton Garden Inn your home base to unwind at the end of the day. This hotel is everything where you need it. Each room comes with its own refrigerator, microwave, and coffee maker, as well as free Wi-Fi, a 24-hour business center, an indoor nautical center, and more! The inn also has a full-service restaurant, and guests can enjoy room service!
Take a break from skiing or snowshoeing and enjoy one of Indiana’s best-kept secrets, Anderson’s Vineyard and Winery, located in Valparaiso, which is just a short drive from Chesterton. Anderson’s specializes in light, fruity wines and gives their customers a unique, country wine experience. Take a guided tour through the vineyard’s wine cellar. Be sure to visit Anderson’s Bakery before you leave and enjoy delicious, homemade treats such as apple cinnamon doughnuts, cheese cake, pumpkin rolls, and turnovers.
If you’re looking for a great breakfast outside the Hilton Garden Inn, take a short drive to Valparaiso and visit the Blackbird Café. It’s a true local coffee shop, where baristas know your name and order by heart. The customer service is outstanding, and the food is made from scratch daily using the best of the best in ingredients as well as locally-grown produce. Try a delicious yogurt parfait or the fantastic breakfast sandwich, with a delicious iced apple chai latte.
Take a break from skiing and visit the Westchester Township History Museum, which offers free tours, local history research, exhibits, and a museum store. The museum was created by the Westchester Public Library in 1998 to collect and preserve the history of Westchester Township. The museum itself is in the historic Brown Mansion which was built in 1885, and features 16 different rooms or exhibits which trace the history of the township from when it was first formed thousands of years ago to the present.
If you feel in the mood to shop and are looking specifically for antiques, visit Spill the Milk Vintage in Valparaiso. The motto here is “Be You, Be Bold, Do It Vintage.” Here people are inspired to seek their individual style, and each item is re-purposed or re-designed to be used for endless possibilities. Spill the Milk prides itself of having eclectic selections including furniture, mirrors, armories, and more. You’ll also find one-of-a-kind vintage clothing, purses, and jewelry.