Endless outdoor fun.
Every day.

 

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.

Arcelor Mittal

Children’s Garden

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. 

Birdwatching

Bring along your binoculars.  With our naturally forested landscape and earthen trails, we have become a retreat for many species of birds along the Lake Michigan Coastline.  Many of Northwest Indiana’s most beautiful species can be seen and heard on the grounds, you just need to listen for them and have a sharp eye.

Our guests regularly spot the following species at The Gardens:

Ruby Crowned Kinglets
Nuthatches
Vireos
Indigo Buntings
Many species of Heron
Turkey Vultures
Falcon
Numerous species of Hawk
American Goldfinches
Black-capped Chickadees
Blue Jays
American Robins
Swainson’s Thrush
Red-bellied Woodpeckers
Northern Cardinals
Red-eyed Vireos
Gray Catbirds
Sandpipers
Hummingbirds
Swallows
Jays
Warblers
Mockingbirds
Cardinals
Blackbirds
Doves
Orioles
Geese
Ducks
Swans

    No matter what type of birding you like to do, we are sure to satisfy. Our location near Lake Michigan and our forested areas combine with the creeks running through the property to create the perfect natural environment for some of the most spectacular bird species found in Michiana.

    Birdwatching

    Bring along your binoculars.  With our naturally forested landscape and earthen trails, we have become a retreat for many species of birds along the Lake Michigan Coastline.  Many of Northwest Indiana’s most beautiful species can be seen and heard on the grounds, you just need to listen for them and have a sharp eye.

    Our guests regularly spot the following species at The Gardens:

    Ruby Crowned Kinglets
    Nuthatches
    Vireos
    Indigo Buntings
    Many species of Heron
    Turkey Vultures
    Falcon
    Numerous species of Hawk
    American Goldfinches
    Black-capped Chickadees
    Blue Jays
    American Robins
    Swainson’s Thrush
    Red-bellied Woodpeckers
    Northern Cardinals
    Red-eyed Vireos
    Gray Catbirds
    Sandpipers
    Hummingbirds
    Swallows
    Jays
    Warblers
    Mockingbirds
    Cardinals
    Blackbirds
    Doves
    Orioles
    Geese
    Ducks
    Swans

      No matter what type of birding you like to do, we are sure to satisfy. Our location near Lake Michigan and our forested areas combine with the creeks running through the property to create the perfect natural environment for some of the most spectacular bird species found in Michiana.

      Birdwatching

      Bring along your binoculars.  With our naturally forested landscape and earthen trails, we have become a retreat for many species of birds along the Lake Michigan Coastline.  Many of Northwest Indiana’s most beautiful species can be seen and heard on the grounds, you just need to listen for them and have a sharp eye.

      Our guests regularly spot the following species at The Gardens:

      Ruby Crowned Kinglets
      Nuthatches
      Vireos
      Indigo Buntings
      Many species of Heron
      Turkey Vultures
      Falcon
      Numerous species of Hawk
      American Goldfinches
      Black-capped Chickadees
      Blue Jays
      American Robins
      Swainson’s Thrush
      Red-bellied Woodpeckers
      Northern Cardinals
      Red-eyed Vireos
      Gray Catbirds
      Sandpipers
      Hummingbirds
      Swallows
      Jays
      Warblers
      Mockingbirds
      Cardinals
      Blackbirds
      Doves
      Orioles
      Geese
      Ducks
      Swans

        No matter what type of birding you like to do, we are sure to satisfy. Our location near Lake Michigan and our forested areas combine with the creeks running through the property to create the perfect natural environment for some of the most spectacular bird species found in Michiana.

        Birdwatching

        Bring along your binoculars.  With our naturally forested landscape and earthen trails, we have become a retreat for many species of birds along the Lake Michigan Coastline.  Many of Northwest Indiana’s most beautiful species can be seen and heard on the grounds, you just need to listen for them and have a sharp eye.

        Our guests regularly spot the following species at The Gardens:

        Ruby Crowned Kinglets
        Nuthatches
        Vireos
        Indigo Buntings
        Many species of Heron
        Turkey Vultures
        Falcon
        Numerous species of Hawk
        American Goldfinches
        Black-capped Chickadees
        Blue Jays
        American Robins
        Swainson’s Thrush
        Red-bellied Woodpeckers
        Northern Cardinals
        Red-eyed Vireos
        Gray Catbirds
        Sandpipers
        Hummingbirds
        Swallows
        Jays
        Warblers
        Mockingbirds
        Cardinals
        Blackbirds
        Doves
        Orioles
        Geese
        Ducks
        Swans

          No matter what type of birding you like to do, we are sure to satisfy. Our location near Lake Michigan and our forested areas combine with the creeks running through the property to create the perfect natural environment for some of the most spectacular bird species found in Michiana.

          Birdwatching

          Bring along your binoculars.  With our naturally forested landscape and earthen trails, we have become a retreat for many species of birds along the Lake Michigan Coastline.  Many of Northwest Indiana’s most beautiful species can be seen and heard on the grounds, you just need to listen for them and have a sharp eye.

          Our guests regularly spot the following species at The Gardens:

          Ruby Crowned Kinglets
          Nuthatches
          Vireos
          Indigo Buntings
          Many species of Heron
          Turkey Vultures
          Falcon
          Numerous species of Hawk
          American Goldfinches
          Black-capped Chickadees
          Blue Jays
          American Robins
          Swainson’s Thrush
          Red-bellied Woodpeckers
          Northern Cardinals
          Red-eyed Vireos
          Gray Catbirds
          Sandpipers
          Hummingbirds
          Swallows
          Jays
          Warblers
          Mockingbirds
          Cardinals
          Blackbirds
          Doves
          Orioles
          Geese
          Ducks
          Swans

            No matter what type of birding you like to do, we are sure to satisfy. Our location near Lake Michigan and our forested areas combine with the creeks running through the property to create the perfect natural environment for some of the most spectacular bird species found in Michiana.

            Birdwatching

            Bring along your binoculars.  With our naturally forested landscape and earthen trails, we have become a retreat for many species of birds along the Lake Michigan Coastline.  Many of Northwest Indiana’s most beautiful species can be seen and heard on the grounds, you just need to listen for them and have a sharp eye.

            Our guests regularly spot the following species at The Gardens:

            Ruby Crowned Kinglets
            Nuthatches
            Vireos
            Indigo Buntings
            Many species of Heron
            Turkey Vultures
            Falcon
            Numerous species of Hawk
            American Goldfinches
            Black-capped Chickadees
            Blue Jays
            American Robins
            Swainson’s Thrush
            Red-bellied Woodpeckers
            Northern Cardinals
            Red-eyed Vireos
            Gray Catbirds
            Sandpipers
            Hummingbirds
            Swallows
            Jays
            Warblers
            Mockingbirds
            Cardinals
            Blackbirds
            Doves
            Orioles
            Geese
            Ducks
            Swans

              No matter what type of birding you like to do, we are sure to satisfy. Our location near Lake Michigan and our forested areas combine with the creeks running through the property to create the perfect natural environment for some of the most spectacular bird species found in Michiana.

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              The Gardens will be OPEN Memorial Day from 9:00AM - 5:00PM CDT.

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