Events

Saturday, June 19, 10am Eastern
Glacial Lake Plains
Jens Jensen Preserve
Sawyer, Mich.

The Hikers will visit the ancient lake-bottom deposits of glacial Lake Chicago inside what is known as an acidic sandy flatwoods. These seasonally flooded forests were once prevalent along the shores of Southwest Michigan and Northwest Indiana. Join us as we enjoy the mix of trees and understory this forest has to offer. Jens Jensen Preserve contains a high-quality beech-maple forest featuring towering oak, maple, beech and tulip poplar along with seasonal wetlands. An adjacent natural area owned by the Michigan Nature Association is called Pepperidge Dunes Sanctuary. Together, these nature areas preserve 45 acres and are critical in maintaining a corridor of forest canopy for migratory birds that stretches from Warren Dunes State Park to Cherry Beach Road. Wear long pants (preferable tucked in), a sun hat, sturdy shoes or boots and insect repellent, and bring plenty of water. Depending on the weather, there may be some muddy areas. HCH observes federal and state COVID guidelines, and masks are not required currently.

Directions: 6851 Parkway Dr., Sawyer, Mich. From Red Arrow Highway, head west of Parkway Dr. and follow it to the preserve sign. Park along the road. Parkway Dr. is half a mile south of the Sawyer Rd. traffic light. GPS: 41.880663, -86.616525 (DD).
Estimated Presentation Time: 15 minutes
Estimated Total Time: 2 hours
Hiking Distance: 1.5 miles
Physical Difficulty: Easy
Hike Leader: Pat Fisher, President, Harbor Country Hikers

Sunday, June 27, 2pm Eastern
Stop and Smell the Roses
Friendship Botanic Gardens
Michigan City, Ind.

Join the Harbor Country Hikers as we visit Friendship Botanic Gardens, a nature-filled sanctuary located in Michigan City, Ind. Jude Rakowski, a longtime naturalist and volunteer at the gardens, will be leading the hike through both wilderness trails and tended gardens. You’ll learn about the rich history of the gardens and see the interactive nature displays along the way. Friendship Botanic Gardens, a volunteer-based, not-for-profit organization, is a community treasure and an oasis of formal gardens and wooded trails in an old-growth forest surrounding Trail Creek. Wear long pants (preferably tucked-in), sturdy shoes or boots and insect repellent, and bring plenty of water. Depending on the weather, there may be some muddy areas. HCH observes federal and state COVID guidelines, and masks are not currently required.

Directions: Friendship Botanic Gardens is located at 2055 East US12 in Michigan City. From US12 enter the gardens through the gate and continue to the parking lot. We will gather near the welcome center. GPS: 41.727296, -86.867631 (DD).
Estimated Presentation Time: 15 minutes
Estimated Total Time: 2 hours
Hiking Distance: 1.5 miles
Physical Difficulty:
Moderate
Hike Leader: Jude Rakowski, Volunteer Naturalist

Flash Hikes

The Hikers will hold occasional Flash Hikes evenings, while it’s still light out, and weekends when there are no scheduled HCH events. These hikes will have no theme, no leader–just a walk in the woods with like-minded people.

The only notification of Flash Hikes will be by email to our list of members and others who’ve signed up for email notices of Hiker activities, and the emails announcing the Flash Hikes will go out two or three days beforehand. If you’re not on our email list and would like to be, send your address to harborcountryhikers@gmail.com. As always, we look forward to hiking with you.

About Dogs…

Harbor Country Hikers welcomes dogs on our hikes, as long as they’re well-behaved and on leashes. Those who manage some of the trails we hike may feel otherwise, however, and they have the final word. Check with them before you bring the pooch. Chikaming Open Lands allows dogs in its preserves, as do the state parks. Chikaming Township Parks allow dogs. Berrien County Parks do not, nor do the New Buffalo Schools Nature Study Trails. Fernwood generally doesn’t, either, except on special occasions. The Dunes National Park generally allows dogs.

Other Hiking and Related Activities

Fernwood Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve–Fernwood is currently open to members and the general public. For information, visit its website, fernwoodbotanical.org

Indiana Dunes National Park–most beaches and trails are open. For updates, visit nps.gov/indu.

Indiana Dunes State Park
Call 219-926-1390 for information about park activiti
es.