Indiana Dunes Hike/Sandhill Crane Watch (Jasper-Pulaski)

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/

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Note:  Important:  Don't forget binoculars. Make sure you dress for the weather.  You will be standing outside for a period of time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

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Jasper-Pulaski Fish & Wildlife Area (Sunset 4:23 Central Time)
5822 N. Fish and Wildlife Lane
Medaryville, IN 47957
(219)[masked]
Jasper-Pulaski Fish & Wildlife Area Map
http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/files/jp.pdf
Jasper-Pulaski Fish & Wildlife Area Homepage
http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/3091.htm
Sandhill Cranes During Their Fall Migration Homepage
http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/3109.htm


Directions
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.


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  • Frank S.

    This is in my third visit to the dunes, and I am amazed the different hiking/biking trail in this area.
    Mother Nature cut short the viewing of the sand hill cranes (dropped below freezing temps and high winds) but to see and hear all the cranes in one area was great

    November 25, 2012

  • Margaret T

    Very glad I went. Fun, relaxed hike with nice people. Have photos that I will upload later - have to convert to JPEG first.

    November 24, 2012

  • Kathy

    A must see if you live in the Mid-West.

    November 23, 2012

  • Jody

    Hi, Can I ride with anyone? I live near downtown and would love to help out with gas.

    November 13, 2012

    • Sunil

      Kathy, you have not texted or emailed your address. I dont know where to pick you up.

      November 22, 2012

    • Kathy

      Suhill did you get my message?

      November 22, 2012

  • Kevin

    Indiana Dunes is in the central time zone. Jasper and Pulaski are counties in Indiana. Jasper-Pulaski Fish & Wildlife Area is in both counties. Jasper is in central time zone and Pulaski is in the eastern time. Therefore for this event all times will be central time zone. No it doesn't cost anything.

    November 19, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      49? Or rt 2 or 10?

      November 21, 2012

    • Margaret T

      Thanks. Glad we're avoiding fees. Have my maps and directions ready then.

      November 21, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Need more places in north west Indiana to meet

    1 · November 21, 2012

  • Neil

    any one from NW burbs??? Carpool??

    November 20, 2012

    • Luda

      Neil, I live in Skokie and looking for a ride. I will pay for gass. I can meet you by your place. Do you want to drive?

      November 20, 2012

  • Neil

    And, is it mandatory to stay overnight?

    November 20, 2012

  • Luda

    April, Yes I can meet you by your place in Bucktown. I emailed you.
    Let me know if you did not receive my email.
    thank you

    November 20, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Does this cost anything?

    November 19, 2012

  • Christine

    Is the 9:15 meeting time CST, or EST ?

    1 · November 19, 2012

  • Luda

    I am still looking for a ride. I want to add that I do have a car but I don't feel comfortable driving long distances. So I can meet you at the location from which you are leaving. I don't need to be picked up!

    November 19, 2012

    • Bob Oehmen - Sunrise S.

      I live in East Rogers Park. I'm definately going, but I may not have room in my car, depending upon if my lady friend and her daughter come. [masked]

      November 19, 2012

    • Luda

      Hopefully I'll be able to find a ride. Thank you anyway.

      November 19, 2012

  • primavera

    debating leaving and staying overnight thursday evening as this will be quite a drive from Milwaukee. Open to carpool if they are on the way since driving through illinois is required. doubt that i will stay overnight friday evening but havent decided yet so ii anyone is open to that lets talk

    November 19, 2012

  • Luda

    I am looking for a ride. I live in Skokie. Please let me know if anyone is coming from my area. I'll pay for gas.
    thank you

    November 17, 2012

  • Frank S.

    Leaving from Schaumburg - looking to Car Pool

    November 9, 2012

    • Jody

      Hi Frank, If you are coming through the downtown area, I'd love if I could ride with you, would gladly give you gas money.

      November 13, 2012

    • Bob Oehmen - Sunrise S.

      I may be able to pick you up. I'm coming from East Rogers Park. Am waiting to find out if my friend will be joining, with her 2 daughters. Best thing to do is call me -[masked]

      November 16, 2012

  • Bob Oehmen - Sunrise S.

    I've been to see the cranes many times over the years. They are incredible, to see 10,000 birds in a field, watch them come in for landing, individuals and in groups.

    November 16, 2012

  • Bob Oehmen - Sunrise S.

    Will we be hiking on sand, as in like a dunes sand?

    November 16, 2012

  • Silent S.

    Hi. I'm in Elmhurst and would love to car pool

    November 15, 2012

  • Mumtaz H.

    Is this a beginners hike?

    November 9, 2012

  • Elizabeth

    I will come for the day Friday.

    November 7, 2012

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