The Journal Gazette
Sunday, January 17, 2021 1:00 am


Pokagon protocols mean long waits

Journal Gazette

Steps have been made to speed up the operations, but safety restrictions regarding COVID-19 combined with high demand has resulted in wait times at Pokagon State Park's toboggan run averaging three to five hours.

The run is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. With guests being turned away by 2:30 p.m. on most days, here are some tips to improve your experience:

• If you're within an hour's drive, call the park at 260-833-2012 to check on wait times; if you live farther away, considering spending the night locally, either camping or staying at the park's Potawatomi Inn or another local hotel.

• After entering the park, remember to social distance while in line waiting to complete advance registration, which opens at 10:30 a.m. Once 100 pre-registered guests enter the toboggan area, staff will then begin collecting names for the wait list.

• Main Gate staff will advise you of the wait time as you enter the property.

• If you return your rented toboggan within the one-hour rental period, you will receive a certificate for half-off the price of the first hour of a toboggan session for the 2021-22 season.

“We know how much our park guests love this winter experience, and we want to make sure their expectations are realistic given this year's required adaptations,” Ginger Murphy, Indiana State Parks deputy director for stewardship, said in news release.

“As you wait for a toboggan, there are great trails nearby for hiking and the nature center is open with hands-on activities and a great bird viewing window.”

Find a complete schedule of open dates and other toboggan information at Call Pokagon State Park at 260-833-2012.

Make reservations at the Potawatomi Inn at or by calling 1-877-LODGES1.

Pokagon State Park ( is at 450 Lane 100 Lake James, Angola.

Celebrate MLK Day by volunteering

Honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. by becoming a volunteer at one of Indiana's DNR properties this year.

DNR provides many ways to volunteer that can make a difference in maintaining, improving and restoring Indiana's natural and cultural heritage. Several opportunities are available for residents, according to the DNR, including maintaining trails, helping in nature centers and sharing photography or artwork.

“Volunteering gives you a great sense of accomplishment,” Jody Heaston, volunteer coordinator for Indiana State Parks, said in a news release.

“You know you are helping manage and conserve our natural and cultural resources for future generations to enjoy.”

For more information, check the DNR volunteer website at; for questions, send email to

On Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, some properties will have self-directed service opportunities, such as litter pickup along trails.

Check the DNR Calendar at for lists of activities or for upcoming volunteer opportunities.

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