Northwest Indiana Birding Opportunities - Prophetstown State Park

Prophetstown State Park, located in West Lafayette, Indiana, is situated between the Wabash and Tippecanoe rivers and boasts beautiful prairie habitat with ponds, creeks, wooded areas, and a 1920’s farmstead.

As you enter the park, drive slowly and watch the fence line and listen for various sparrows including Henslow’s and Lark Sparrow. For birding, the village trails provide views of Yellow-breasted Chat, Indigo Bunting, Brown Thrasher, Orioles, Henslow's Sparrows, Common Yellowthroats, and many early successional nesters. Keep an eye open throughout the park or listen for the calls of Ring-necked Pheasants if you are there in the morning.

Grasshopper Sparrows and Dickcissels are the star birds during the summer months along with American Goldfinches as they pose atop the tall prairie grasses. Trail 1 between the Meadow View and Prairie View Picnic areas is a prime location to find Blue Grosbeaks. Sedge Wrens can also be found on the property as you drive along the road through the park. The fishing pond has been known to have waterfowl and swan species as well as Belted Kingfishers. With the nearby rivers,

Bald Eagles soar across prairies quickly. During migration (May and September), warblers, vireos, and Bobolinks can be found on any of the hiking trails that also pass through wooded areas in addition to the prairie. Northern Shrikes have been found during the winter as well as various owl species.

The park can be viewed very well in the comfort of your own car during any season as the road travels the length of the park and many of the habitats can be seen easily in this manner. The hiking trails are all easy to moderate and biking trails are also available.

eBird Hotspot Link:

Total Birding Time:
1-2 hours. A visitor can do a quick drive through the park in an hour or less or they can hike the trails and spend the day here.

Best Times to Bird: 


5545 Swisher Road
West Lafayette, IN 47906
Take I-65 to Exit 178/SR 43 north of Lafayette. Go south on SR 43 for a very short distance and turn left onto Burnett Road. Take a right on 9th Street to Swisher Road. This is a hard left immediately after the veterinary office. Once on Swisher Road, cross over the I-65 and follow the road directly into the park
Hours: Regular park hours are 7am-11pm. Though birders are usually welcome before 7am.
Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of State Parks
Indiana State Park entrance fees apply. $8 in-state vehicles, $10 out of state vehicles. No gate fees during the off-season.
Please obey all rules and regulations. A summary of property rules can be found at
There are many parking lots for the various areas of the park.
Nearby Amenities:
There is a vault toilet year-round and modern restrooms during the peak months. There is a visitor’s center on site with a gift shop and a few exhibits. There is a Farm Museum with restrooms available, a biking trail, aquatic center, and a full-electric campground on site. Lafayette and Purdue University host many nearby restaurants, lodging, and gas stations.
There is a paved bike trail throughout the park that is accessible. Many of the trails are mown grass or gravel.
Phone Number:
(765) 567-4919

Written by: Theresa Wilson
Photo by: 
Visit Indiana