Hidden away south of Valparaiso is a hidden gem in Northwest Indiana. I’m talking about the Talltree Arboretum and Gardens. A charity driven ecological restoration project.
My wife and I set out this past Saturday to explore this place for the first time and within minutes of arriving, it was our new favorite place. Everyone is accustomed to the beauty of the Dunes, but the Talltree features something completely different about Northwest Indiana.
Several years ago, the founders purchased up former agricultural land before it could be snatched up by developers. Lovingly, they’ve allowed the land to return to it’s natural state, which is prairie land. The result is a wonderful, unexpected day out in the wilderness.
Talltree is 300 acres of prairie, lakes, woodland, and trails. Within the grounds are beautiful flowers, wonderful old tress and acres of green fields.
They also have a really cool Pavilion (and restrooms) where they hold concerts in the summer months. The pavilion sits next to a pond, inhabited by geese and other wildlife. The whole place is filled with wildlife and the ecology is designed to allow native plants and animals to flourish in their natural habitat.
Talltree features classes and clubs focused on learning about the ecology of the area and it’s a popular school field trip day out. Under construction is a railroad museum, which I can’t wait for it to open as I love trains.
It’s hard to believe that a a place like this exists in the middle of Porter County. The old growth tress are amazing, the ponds picturesque and the flowers breathtaking. We choose to walk the Bluebird path, which ended up taking a good amount of time as it’s nearly 1.5 miles long.
We took the dog with us, dogs are allowed as long as you keep them on a leash and clean up after them. It costs $5 to get in per person, which is pretty pricey, but it’s worth the price. If you get a membership, you can get in for free whenever you want. Also, if you decide to go, I highly recommend that you wear hiking books or shoes that you don’t mind getting muddy. We had no idea what to expect and our shoes came home very muddy (along with the dog and as a consequence, our clothes).
If you’d like to see more pictures of the Talltree Aboretum, check out the gallery I set up here.
Location of the Talltree Arboretum:
For more information, visit the Talltree Arboretum Website.
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