Hiking And Birding at Highland Rookery And Little Calumet River Trail, Indiana

What’s a rookery?
A giant natural incubator for birds to help them breed and nest their younglings.

Why Highland Rookery?
Tons of birding opportunities, carry binoculars or use the public ones there. You can also continue to follow the Little Calumet River Trail which has stunning natural beauty along with historical monuments like Bailly Homestead and Chellberg Farm.

Courtesy: Madison Owens’s gallery

Tip: The GPS directions aren’t great, set your GPS here to get to the parking lot right by the rookery. 

You are greeted with a large sign on entry. The wide gamut of nesting birds make it worth the time!

CamScanner 04-22-2023 11.24 (1)

After parking the car, we ambled towards the Little Calumet River  trailhead.


Rather than taking the trail, my 9-year old couldn’t resist surging up the knoll to get a peek at the rookery.


And the views were gorgeous.


#Funfact – Highland rookery is actually part of the massive restoration effort by many entities, to attract herons which moved away many decades ago.

There are several benches decorating the paved trail to sit and soak in the pleasure.


There were such a wide ambit of birds on offer everywhere you step in.


I tried hard to capture an elusive great white egret, while trying to shrug off my 9-year old who was tugging me incessantly to leave after a few minutes (to focus on more important objectives in life like gaming on his iPad).


Patience paid off as the great white decided to venture down close to us!


#MildlyInteresting – the birds (or whoever) had almost carved out a beaver in the tree.


And just like that, one last snap and it was time to go.


In short, would highly recommend Highland Rookery and the Little Calumet River trail. It’s a bit of a drive but right off I-94 so you could merge this with other travel plans as well.

Special shoutout for Madison Owens who allowed us to use her work in this blog.

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