Visit Pokagon State Park for an amazing winter adventure!
A few years ago, after ringing in the New Year, we went on a quick overnight adventure to visit Pokagon State Park in Northern Indiana. Pokagon is one of seven State Parks in Indiana that has an Inn on-site, and we were lucky enough to get a room for the night during a very busy week!
Where is Pokagon State Park?
Located in Steuben County in the northeast corner of Indiana, Pokagon State Park is about two and a half hours north of Indianapolis, and less than half an hour south of Michigan – so it makes for a terrific day trip or weekend getaway for nearby residents of central to northern Indiana, southern Michigan or even northwest Ohio.
What is Pokagon State Park known for?
Although the park is absolutely gorgeous in the summer (set on that large lake) and has plenty of hiking trails, campground sites, and other fun things to do, Pokagon State Park is well known for its toboggan run.
What is the Pokagon State Park Toboggan run?
Unique to Pokagon State Park, the toboggan run is a quarter mile long and delivers visitors loaded on the toboggans down that run at up to 35 miles per hour. Fun!
The track is refrigerated, so although it does need to be cold (it only runs in the winter months), it doesn’t need snow to operate. Although you should call ahead or check out their website, it’s typically open starting mid to late November through February.
There are quite a few stairs to climb and the toboggans aren’t light, but the view at the top and the 35 mph ride are well worth the effort. My son wasn’t sure about the experience but when we hit the bottom his first words were “That was awesome!” I’ll call that a win!
👉 Be sure to dress warmly as it can get pretty cold zipping down the run. Check out the post What to Pack for a Ski Trip and you’ll have everything you need.
What are other Pokagon State Park Winter Activities?
In addition to the Pokagon State Park Toboggan run, there are plenty of other fun winter activities at this Indiana state park.
Hiking is lovely at Pokagon State Park any time of the year, but it’s really peaceful and enjoyable in the winter. The park has numerous trails and many of them are well suited to winter hiking – as long as you have warm snow boots!
Speaking of snow, Indiana often gets snow in January and February, and if there is enough, cross-country skiing would be a fantastic winter activity.
My last suggestion is my favorite – snowshoeing. Once again, you’ll need snow, but that is quite possible during most Indiana winters!
👉 Snowshoes are surprisingly affordable – check out this terrific option – they would make a fantastic family holiday gift that you could enjoy all winter!
How much is the Pokagon State Park Entrance Fee?
As one of the Indiana State Parks, there is an entrance fee for Pokagon State Park. Right now it is $7 per car for Indiana residents and a little bit higher for out of state visitors.
You can also buy an annual park pass which gets you unlimited visits to ALL the Indiana State Parks. It’s currently $50 for Indiana residents and $70 for out of state, or if you are 65+ and an in-state resident you can buy an annual pass for $25.
Where to stay when you visit Pokagon State Park
The Potawatomi Inn is located right on the grounds of Pokagon State Park, so it makes for a very convenient base if you plan on spending more than one day in the region. As a State Park Inn, it has a rustic feel to it, but when we stayed it was perfectly comfortable and clean.
Pokagon State Park Potawatomi Inn
When we arrived at the Potawatomi Inn for our last visit, it was just after lunch, and we were pleasantly surprised to find our room was ready. I was thrilled to stay in one of the patio rooms with a gorgeous view of Lake James.
In fact, I woke up early the next day to get some beautiful morning shots of the still water. The room was large with a small fridge and microwave oven. The beds were comfy and clean and it was the ideal lodging for our quick trip.
👉 Ready to book your getaway to Pokagon State Park? Check out rates and availability at the Potawatomi Inn or another nearby hotel here on Booking.com
What is there to do at the Potawatomi Inn?
The Potawatomi Inn boasts a game room that contains a variety of video games, ping pong, air hockey, and a new family favorite, Boccerball.
None of us had ever heard of it before but we spent quite a bit of time playing – watch the short video below and you’ll get why it’s so addicting.
The Potawatomi Inn also has a nice-sized indoor pool, sauna, and hot tub. So, if the weather is cold and dreary (as it often is in Indiana in the winter), running back and forth between the three is a great way to spend your evening.
The Inn has several large fireplaces, a small gift store, and plenty of places to curl up and read a book or even play a few family games – which is something we love to do when we travel!
👉 Looking for some fun family games? These are our current favorites, and most of them come along with us when we travel!
Where can you eat at Pokagon State Park?
Whether you are staying at the Potawatomi Inn or not, feel free to check out the restaurant onsite. It’s called the Lakeview Restaurant and offers homestyle-type meals. Things like fried chicken, pot pie, whitefish, etc. It’s typically open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but often closes between lunch and dinner so keep that in mind.
It’s a convenient option if you want to spend more time enjoying all the inn has to offer or just don’t want to drive outside of the park to find a restaurant.
What are things to do near Pokagon State Park?
Although you can easily entertain yourself for a day trip or overnight when you visit Pokagon State Park, I completely understand wanting to see what else is around.
Just a few miles away is the town of Angola which offers all kinds of fun things to do. And if you really want to explore, head south to Fort Wayne (about an hour’s drive). There are enough things to do in Fort Wayne to keep you busy for weeks!
If you want more specific ideas for things to do near Pokagon State Park, check out Five Things to Do: Winter Fun near Pokagon State Park.
*Special thanks to the Steuben County Tourism Bureau for arranging and sponsoring our stay and toboggan run at the Inn. We enjoyed the getaway immensely. Please remember that all opinions and comments are 100% my own.*
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