By: John Griffee
Huckleberry Road in Berrein County hosts the entry way to Love Creek County Park. Love Creek is a 200 acre natural area that offers six miles of winding trails, with paths for mountain biking and cross-country skiing.
The entrance to Love Creek is easy to pass up on the first drive by, and visitors should be wary to keep a careful look for the turn into the entryway. The expansive parking lot welcomes visitors into the park, with the nature center resting directly by the trail heads.
Visitors have to enter the nature center to pay the visitors fee before hitting the trails. The park charges an entry fee of $3 for county residents and $5 for non-residents. However, Love Creek is well worth the admission price.
Winding down through hills, the creek trail welcomes hikers to the park with a view of the creek the park is named after. Certain stretches of the trails are picturesque pathways you might envision in a storybook.
Love Creek offers an experience for every age and family, along with those that want a solitary secluded amble through the rolling hills of the park. Excluding the trail for mountain biking, the park has eight trails for hikers. Boots are recommended for certain paths, though the most popular loop, the Ponds & Pines Loop, offers a wide pathway full of benches and a manicured trail.
Any visitor would be hard pressed to ignore the sheer amount of life in the park with spring rolling around. The hills are full of the sound of chickadees, the pounding of woodpecker bills on bark among other feathered residents. Looming above with the clouds, Turkey Vultures wobble through the air, casting shadows on the ground. Trails that have felled trees flanking either side show signs of some of the life in the park, whether it be drilled holes from birds and bugs or emerald moss.
The Pond & Pines Loop is arguably the most popular trail in the park, due to the ease of path and the natural beauty captured in the loop. With a parking lot brimming full of cars on the weekends, many of the visitors populate the loop. It’s difficult to ignore the loop, not just for its accessibility to all ages, but the sheer noise coming from the pond. With Spring comes amphibian activity, and Love Creek’s pond is no exception. Whether you’re near the pond on a bench or in the distance on a side trail, the frogs’ concert is defeaning.
Love Creek is a park that truly has something for any visitor. Those who want a quiet hike can find a side trail that allows for an immersive experience, while families may gravitate to the main trails or the activities offered in the nature center. Dogs are a common companion of hikers at the area, though leashes are required.
On weekends where the thermometer rests in the mid-60s, a gentle breeze keeps the park at the perfect conditions for a walk in the woods. Whether it be a quick loop, sitting somewhere in the park or hitting all of the trails, its an excellent park that manages to appeal to any visitor. Groups are not uncommon, though with all of the trails available, a bit of solitude is readily available. Love Creek has a little something for everyone. Is there a park that you want to see covered? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with suggestions.