Hoosier Prairie

Natural Areas: Hoosier Prairie

National Natural Landmark [1974]

State Designated Nature Preserve [#46; 1977]

Hoosier Prairie

Hoosier Prairie. Click to enlarge

This National Natural Landmark is one of the largest prairie remnants in the state, though the area immediately south and west of the parking area is reconstructed. Late summer is best, but every season offers something. Despite its size, Hoosier Prairie is not large enough to offer a complete escape from civilization. Noise from nearby highway and rail traffic is virtually continuous and usually loud, while large petroleum tanks loom to the south.

A graveled path extends south from the parking area, intersecting the first of two joined loops that extend east into virgin prairie. The plant mix varies with elevation. Low areas are wet and host cattail, sensitive fern, iris, and amphibians. Plants typical of tallgrass prairie populate higher ground; look for coneflower, rattlesnake master, blazing star, vervain, and the like. The eastern-most loop occupies yet higher ground, dominated by oak savanna, with bracken filling much of the understory.

Trail Map

trail map

Click to enlarge


Lake County. From US 41/Indianapolis Blvd at the border of Highland and Schererville, go east 0.75 miles on Main Street to the parking area on the right.

GPS: N 41 31.373 W 87 27.455



Finder Sketch

Click to enlarge

Nearby Natural Areas (miles)

Gibson Woods (6.6)
Ivanhoe South Nature Preserve (7.5)
Bur Oak Nature Preserve (9.4)
Greiner Nature Preserve (10)
Cressmoor Prairie (15)
Coulter Nature Preserve (17)
Miller Woods (17)
West Beach (18)
Tolleston Dunes (19)