Pokagon State Park

Updated on July 13, 2019
RuthCoffee profile image

I've lived in Indiana for much of my life, and I've explored lots of what the state has to offer. I can show you what's here to enjoy.

A Visit to Pokagon State Park

Pokagon State Park lies in the northeastern corner of Indiana, near Angola, Indiana. The park offers visitors camping, fishing, boating, swimming, hiking, and horseback riding. In the winter, sledding, ice skating, cross country skiing, ice fishing, and even a toboggan ride can be added to the list of entertainment.

During a visit to the park in September 2009, I took some photographs and will share them with you here. Learn more about what the park has to offer, enjoy a few of its sights, and find other pages about Pokagon here.

About the Park

The land that includes Pokagon State Park was originally inhabited by the Potawatomi Indians. Later it was established as a state park in 1925. It covers 1,260 acres of land and is bordered on its west and much of its southern side by Lake James while Snow Lake is near its northwestern end. Getting to the park is very easy as it lies just off of interstate highway 69 at US Highway 27 just 5 miles north of Angola, Indiana.

There are several campgrounds within the park and a number of picnic shelters. Visitors can make online reservations for any of these facilities online. There are also cabins for those who want a rustic experience as well an Inn for those who want more of a resort type of experience.

The Potawatomi Inn includes a swimming pool, sauna, restaurant, conference center, and much more. The Inn offers a lovely view of the lake as well as a roaring fireplace on cold winter days and gives visitors the feel of a rustic European Chalet. Cabins are in the woods nearby and the volleyball courts, toboggan run, and beach are all located in the same area.

The park has a saddle barn and a two mile bridle trail as well as a beach that's open from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Boats can also be rented. Fishermen can find bass, bluegill, walleye, crappie, catfish, and northern pike in the lake.

The Toboggan Run, pictured above at it's foot, was originally built by the CCC in the 1930's but has of course been renovated. It's a 1,780 foot refrigerated twin track and is open to visitors on weekends from the end of November through the end of February. It's open additional hours during holiday periods. The toboggans can be rented by the hour and hit a top speed of about 40 miles per hour. You can learn more about it the Tobbogan Run on the website or view a video of a ride below.

Pokagon also has a paved 1.6 mile bike trail that winds around from the main entrance gate, beyond the saddle barn, through some picnic areas, and ends up at the nature center. It's an easy, level ride.

The Hiking Trails at Pokagon

Pokagon offers over 13 miles of hiking trails The landscape is mostly wooded and rolling but there are also some wetlands and marsh. A trail map can be found here.

Trail 1 is 2 miles long and lies on the southwestern border of the park with Lake James lying at its edge. It can be picked up between the Volleyball Courts and the Lake and will loop around returning hikers to the Inn as it parallels the bike trail near the saddle barn. This trail is easy to moderate and gives you the opportunity to hike over to the Nature Center.

Trail 2 is a 2.2-mile hike at the northwestern end of the park and is easily accessed from the various campground areas. Trail 3, also 2.2 miles long, can be accessed near the Inn parking lot and gives hikers access to a number of other trails. Trail 2, 7, 8, 9, and 6 can all be picked up here. It will also lead to the highest point in the Park, Hell's Point where you can climb a few steps and get a view of the surrounding woods. Trail 3 will give you a taste of not only the area hardwood forest but some marsh as well.

The Beechwood Nature Preserve is a small area that offers an additional hike through preserved forest and meadows that is lightly traveled. It is not part of Pokagon State Park and is not state-owned but lies at the northeast end of the park and is accessible off of US highway 27.

Trails 4 (1.2 miles) and 5 (.7 miles) offer the easiest hiking at Pokagon and can be accessed near the entrance of the campground at the Black Cherry Picnic Area. Trail 5 will take you to the Bath/Beach House where you can swim or get refreshments.

Trail 6, is a short hike off of trail 3 which loops around through an open meadow area, while Trail 7, 1.8 miles long (Blue Bird Hills) is another easy hike giving a view of prairie vegetation and wetlands. Trail 8, 1 mile, and Trail 9, 1.7 miles, can also be accessed from Trail 3 and give hikers a range of environments, from hardwood forest, to open meadows, marshes, and prairie land. All of these areas are great for spotting birds, wildflowers, and small wildlife during the warmer months.

I wouldn't consider any of the hiking at Pokagon to be rugged. The footing is always solid, and although it's rolling, there are no extended climbs. Trails are also well marked.

A Look Around Pokagon State Park - Click on Thumbnails to View Larger Images

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A path into the woods, heading north from the InnHeading out onTrail 3Along Trail 1Looking toward the end of the Toboggan Run in September
A path into the woods, heading north from the Inn
A path into the woods, heading north from the Inn
Heading out onTrail 3
Heading out onTrail 3
Along Trail 1
Along Trail 1
Looking toward the end of the Toboggan Run in September
Looking toward the end of the Toboggan Run in September
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Lake James, zooming out from the back of the Potawatomi InnNearing Hell's Point, looking back down the trailAlong the trail 6 pathEmerging from the marsh along trail 6Lake James near the beach on trail 5
Lake James, zooming out from the back of the Potawatomi Inn
Lake James, zooming out from the back of the Potawatomi Inn
Nearing Hell's Point, looking back down the trail
Nearing Hell's Point, looking back down the trail
Along the trail 6 path
Along the trail 6 path
Emerging from the marsh along trail 6
Emerging from the marsh along trail 6
Lake James near the beach on trail 5
Lake James near the beach on trail 5

Take a Ride on the Tobbogan Run

© 2009 Ruth Coffee

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    • kristalulabelle profile image

      Kristen 

      7 years ago from Wisconsin

      beautiful pics!

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 

      9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Another wonderful lens from you. The Pokagon State Park looks so lovely

    • rebeccahiatt profile image

      rebeccahiatt 

      9 years ago

      By the pics it looks like a beautiful park, I don't believe I have ever been there.

    • GramaBarb profile image

      GramaBarb 

      9 years ago from Vancouver

      I would love to go for a long walk in this park in all its seasons. Great lens!

    • mariaamoroso profile image

      irenemaria 

      9 years ago from Sweden

      Would like to see Pochahontas in her canoe there. Beautiful photos!

    • NatureMaven profile image

      NatureMaven 

      9 years ago

      Hi Mulberry. I loved the tobaggan run. I wish we had that here in Maryland. Another neat lens! *****

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 

      9 years ago

      Gosh, it was time to take a break from the action of Squidoo and my normal work day -- so I dropped by for a little exercise -- enjoyed my walk through this park! ;)

    • profile image

      Andy-Po 

      9 years ago

      Looks wonderful

    • profile image

      Andy-Po 

      9 years ago

      Looks wonderful. I love the colours of the leaves.

    • profile image

      Joan4 

      9 years ago

      Pokagon is a beautiful park! your pictures are great!

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