Endless outdoor fun.
We’re not only Northwest Indiana’s favorite outdoor event venue, we’re also the perfect place to just get out and enjoy nature on a daily basis.
Path of Nations: 1,848 ft/ .35 miles
The main entrance route into the heart of our botanic gardens. This is an easy walk for visitors who want to enjoy our lovingly cultivated formal gardens.
Celebration Loop: 2,642 ft / 0.5 miles
A paved, easy route down into the formal garden pathways on the other side of Trail Creek.
Pottawatomie Trail: 5,280 ft /1 mile
Hike over a moderately rugged woodland hillsides and river banks, be on the lookout for wild turkeys and other wildlife on this heavily forested route.
Wilderness Trail = 2,770 ft /. 52 miles
Our longest trek through the gardens that winds across the banks of Trail Creek before taking you through a steep valley of old-growth woodlands. This is an upland trail for hikers seeking a more rugged path to explore.
Hiking & Walking Trails
Friendship Botanic Gardens is home to a stunning variety of wildlife and diverse natural habitats. Multiple dog-friendly trails and pathways wind throughout the grounds.
Guests can choose between trails that offer challenging woodland hikes or easy walks through landscaped garden spaces. Please keep our furry friends on their leashes at all times.
The ArcelorMittal Children’s Garden is a place of adventure and education for kids ages 2 – 13! The state of the art playground is one of our most popular attractions. Children enjoy the slides, climbing up the towers, or trekking over the bridge. The Children’s Garden is the perfect resource for teaching young people to appreciate nature while also helping with personal development and happiness.
Kids can simulate drawing groundwater up from the earth with a hydraulic hand pump before watching it trickle down a 16-foot gold miner’s sluiceway. The hydraulic hand pump is useful because it helps demonstrate the fundamental process and understanding of where water comes from. In the spring, the nearby garden beds will blossom with flowers and herbs selected to provide a feast for the senses of smell, touch and sight. Relax on the swing or use the slide!
ArcelorMittal initially funded the Children’s Garden in 2015. The first and second phases of the playground were completed in 2016 and 2017, respectively, and phase three was successfully installed in April of 2018. The playground equipment is made of a splinter-less cedar wood, therefore providing a safe environment for kids to enjoy. In 2018, we added additional signage to enhance the educational aspects of the garden.
Take a break and enjoy some family time, especially with the hectic world we live in today.
Dogs love The Gardens too!
We get top reviews from dogs all the time! All of our trails and themed-garden areas are open to you and your dog.
We have over 3 miles of unique terrain to explore, including trails of various lengths, so visit regularly to give your dog a chance to sniff out every path! You can choose a short dog friendly trail if you are pressed for time, or explore multiple paths while enjoying the wonderful features the Gardens have to offer.
There are Just a few things we ask of you when you bring your furry friends along:
- All pets must be under control at all times and are your responsibility.
- Dogs must be leashed at all times.
- Aggressive or female dogs in heat are not allowed.
- Never leave your pets unattended.
- Bring your own waste bags and please clean up after your pets.
- Please seal the waste in the bag before disposing of it in one of our garbage cans.
Cross Country Skiing
Don’t let the cold and snow keep you cooped up inside. Strap on your skis and take advantage of our more than three miles of trails and 105 acres all winter long.
We’re closed to the public throughout the winter season, but our members have exclusive access to our entire property year-round from dawn to dusk. This gives our members a wonderful place to cross country ski. Whether you find yourself on the wooded trails or treking through the vast open spaces and around Lake Lucerne, you can find a peaceful spot to unwind and enjoy your favorite winter activity!
Get your run in on our paved trails that take you through the numerous ethnic gardens, on the woodchip-covered trails that take you up the hills and through the woods, or along the grassy paths around Trail Creek and Lake Lucerne! We have a variety of surfaces to run on.
Again, we are closed to the public in the winter months, but our very affordable membership options will give you full access to our entire property.
Trail Creek Fishing
Members of The Gardens are granted exclusive access to the grounds year round and, if licensed, are welcome to cast a line along any stretch of the nearly 2,000 feet of Trail Creek that twist and turn through our property.
Trail Creek boasts an abundance of Rainbow Trout and Salmon but many species of fish travel through the creek at various times throughout the year. Trout and Salmon are large enough to put up a good fight, and there is no better reward from a long day of fishing than pulling up a monster fish. Other species of fish, turtles, and waterfowl are also present in The Gardens’ two creeks.
Trail Creek divides the Symphony (North) side of our grounds from the Celebration (South) side. A walking is centrally located for visitors to pass from one side of the creek to the other.
Friendship Botanic Gardens is a proud member of the Trail Creek Watershed Partnership and we are continually looking for funding opportunities to keep our portion of the water clean and safe since Trail Creek is a vital part of our organization and grounds.