Jasper-Pulaski State Fish and Wildlife Area in northwest Indiana contains over 8,000 acres of preserved wetland, prairie, and woodland. This preserve is a small remnant of the Grand Kankakee Marsh, an approximately 500,000-acre wetland on the Kankakee Outwash Plain which stretched from southeast Wisconsin around the southern tip of Lake Michigan to southwest Michigan. Following drainage in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, less than 10% of this great wetland remains.
Experience the largest concentration of Sandhill Cranes east of the Mississippi River! While Sandhill Cranes historically nested in the Grand Kankakee Marsh, its drainage and reduction in size have caused these birds to use Jasper-Pulaski State Wildlife Area only as a migratory stopover. During each fall, large flocks begin gathering from nearby states and Canadian provinces as early as October with a climax of tens of thousands of birds after Thanksgiving. Regular counts of Sandhill Cranes are conducted by Indiana Department of Natural Resources and reported here. In addition to Sandhill Cranes, a large diversity of waterfowl and other birds utilize the area. And an occasional Whooping Crane is sometimes observed in the area.
Registrants will meet at the Sandhill Crane Observation Tower. After observing the flocks of cranes and waterfowl, we have the opportunity to visit other nearby conservation and management areas based on desires of the group.
Accommodations for this trip are not reserved at any lodging location. For those planning to arrive the night before, closest accommodations are approximately 40 minutes from Jasper-Pulaski State Fish and Wildlife Area. These include:
Super 8 by Wyndham, 3423 IN-2, Hebron, IN 46341. 219.696.8888.
Comfort Inn, 3550 E 181st Ave, Hebron, IN 46341. 219.690.1619.
Best Western University Inn, 760 W Morthland Dr, Valparaiso, IN 46385. 219.850.1100.
Super 8 by Wyndham, 3005 John Howell Dr, Valparaiso, IN 46383. 219.386.3029
Trip leader: Matt Hayes
Cost of trip includes of snacks, and water
Maximum field trip capacity: 12