Indiana Dunes Hike/Sandhill Crane Watch (Jasper-Pulaski)
This year we will be hiking Bailly Homestead, Chellberg Farm, and Little Calumet River Trails at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. We will meet at the Bailly Homestead, Chellberg Farm Visitor Center [masked]N,[masked]W) at 9:15 and start the hike at 9:30 sharp. We will be hiking around 5 miles.
Map of hike and directions to the start of hike: http://www.nps.gov/indu/planyourvisit/bcvc.htm
We will then head over to Val's Famous Pizza & Grinders (112 S 11th St, Chesterton, IN) for lunch.
After lunch head to Jasper-Pulaski to see the Sandhill Cranes. It is about an 1 hour drive.
We are planning on meeting at the Sandhill Crane Observation Point at 3:00. We will then head to the other Observation Tower around 3:30. The other Observation Tower is about an 1 mile walk from the road.
Jasper-Pulaski Fish & Wildlife Area Map http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/files/jp.pdf
I have a cabin reserved Friday Night at Tippecanoe State Park. Tippecanoe State Park is 20 miles from Jasper-Pulaski. It is a rustic cabin that sleeps 12 (6 sets of bunk beds). It has limited electricity, lights and firewood heat. The cost will be $6 per person for the cabin. We will be taking a collection for firewood for heating the cabin. There are only pit toilets available. Signup at: http://www.meetup.com/ChicagoCampers/events/84028932/
Note: Important: Don't forget binoculars. Make sure you dress for the weather. You will be standing outside for a period of time.
Sandhill Crane Watch (Jasper-Pulaski Fish & Wildlife Area)
The Greater Sandhill Crane at Indiana's Jasper Pulaski Fish & Wildlife Refuge, breed in Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and parts of Canada and winter in Southern Georgia and Florida. The Greater Sandhill Crane, standing about 3.5 feet tall with a wingspan of 6 to 7 feet, is the largest race of Sandhill Cranes. During the fall migration, some 12,000 to 16,000 Cranes make Indiana their home. The highest population estimate of 32,000 individuals occurred in the 1991 migratory season.
The Jasper-Pulaski State Fish and Wildlife Area, located on Route 421 about 40 miles south of Michigan City, Indiana, is in a region once famous for the vast Kankakee Marsh.
This marsh, which consisted of more than a million acres of reeds, bogs, ponds, wild rice, lily pads, moss, beaver, waterfowl and other wetland species, was drained in the 19th and early 20th Century to make way for agriculture. Today, this vast wetland is essentially gone. The cranes feed in surrounding farmland in an area that was once the vast and famous Kankakee Marsh. As evening approaches, they return to congregate in the Jasper-Pulaski State Fish and Wildlife Area.
As evening approaches, the pace of returning birds increases. The dry rattling call of the Sandhill Crane can be heard more than a mile away. The call is distinctive. Once heard, it is not forgotten. Many times the call is heard long before the birds come into view. After sunset and well into dusk, the Cranes continue to congregate. The sky literally swarms with returning birds. The Cranes linger here well into fall, but with the first winds of winter, they head south. In mild years, migrating birds pass through Indiana well into December and January.
Jasper-Pulaski Fish & Wildlife Area (Sunset 4:23 Central Time)
5822 N. Fish and Wildlife Lane
Medaryville, IN 47957
Jasper-Pulaski Fish & Wildlife Area Map
Jasper-Pulaski Fish & Wildlife Area Homepage
Sandhill Cranes During Their Fall Migration Homepage
From: Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, IN
To: 5822 Fish And Wildlife Lane, Medaryville 47957, Indiana
Distance: 45.0 miles (72.4km) Time: 0 hrs., 55mins.
1. Start out heading SOUTH on N MINERAL SPRINGS ROAD towards DUNES HIGHWAY. Drive for 0.5 miles.
2. Turn LEFT to get on DUNES HIGHWAY heading EAST. Drive for 1.2 miles.
3. Take exit on your RIGHT towards US-12 to get on IN-49. Drive for 13.9 miles.
4. Take US-30 E towards PLYMOUTH. Drive for 7.4 miles.
5. Turn RIGHT onto S US HIGHWAY 421. Drive for 7.6 miles.
6. S US HIGHWAY 421 becomes N WASHINGTON STREET. Drive for 0.9 miles.
7. N WASHINGTON STREET becomes S US HIGHWAY 421. Drive for 3.7 miles.
8. S US HIGHWAY 421 becomes US-421. Drive for 8.3 miles.
9. Turn RIGHT onto IN-143. Drive for 0.9 miles.
10. Turn RIGHT onto FISH AND WILDLIFE LANE. Drive for 0.1 miles.
11.You have reached 5822 Fish And Wildlife Lane, Medaryville 47957, Indiana
Note: Flush toilets are on the right as you enter the parking lot.
To the Observation Point:
1. Exit Headquarters Parking lot.
2. Turn Right on IN-143. Drive for 1/8 of mile.
3. Turn RIGHT onto 1650 W. Drive for 0.25 miles.
4. The parking lot for the Sandhill Crane Observation Point is on the left.