Northwest Indiana Birding Opportunities - Tippecanoe River State Park
With well over 90% of Northwest Indiana developed into either urban areas or farmland, Tippecanoe River State Park serve as an oasis for birds and wildlife.
It also offers a diversity of ecological communities that may attract different species. The park has a centrally located small, shallow lake, which is good area to observe waterfowl, herons, and Yellow Warblers, Common Yellowthroats and other passerines that frequent water’s edges.
Much of the property is wooded, varying from dry sand hills to low river bottoms. Sand Hill Nature Preserve, which includes a small oak savanna, is in the Northwest section of the property. Whippoorwills can sometimes be heard in the summer near the rent-a-camp cabins and Tepicon Recreation Building area. Observation decks located in the River Picnic Area are good locations to watch for ducks, geese, herons and other wetland species.
The Tippecanoe River borders the property for seven miles on the east side and a canoe or kayak trip when conditions are right is likely to result in good birding for waterfowl, herons and nesting passerine species The summer-only nature center in the River Picnic Area provides information and feeders for watching birds as well.
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Address: 4200 North U.S. Highway 35, Winamac, IN 46996. The park is easily accessed 3 miles north of the town of Winamac on Highway 35.
Hours: The property is open from 7am-11pm daily.
Ownership: Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of State Parks
Admission: Entrance fees are $7/vehicle in state and $9/vehicle out of state when the entrance gate is in operation during the recreation season. Admission is free at other times.
Restrictions: Please obey all rules and regulations. A summary of property rules can be found at stateparks.IN.gov/6468.htm.
Parking: Parking is available on the east side of the waterfowl area/lake, in the River Picnic Area, near the park’s firetower, at the Tepicon Recreation Building and in several other locations at the property.
Nearby Amenities: Vault toilets are located throughout the property. The property office has modern restrooms and is open 7 days/week during the summer months and 5 days/week during the winter. The town of Winamac is located 3 miles to the south with several restaurants and gas stations. Overnight lodging is available in Rochester, located 30 miles east of the park. The park also has overnight accommodations with rent-a-camp camper cabins, and a campground with both electric and primitive sites.
Accessibility: There are accessible restrooms located in some areas of the park and the River Picnic Area has a flat walkway with access to an overlook of the river.
Phone Number: (574) 946-3213
Written by: Vern Gillum
Photo by: Shari McCollough