Nestled within two square miles in North Hammond and linked by a pedestrian trail, the facilities of the Hammond Port Authority offer entertainment and recreational opportunities for individuals and entire families.
Lake Michigan’s southern shores, Wolf Lake and George Lake form a triangle of activity and relaxation within the region’s largest urban center.
WOLF LAKE MEMORIAL PARK
Wolf Lake Memorial Park serves as the perfect setting for summer concerts, festivals, aquatic fun, sports and family outings. Open from dawn to dusk, the park offers easy-access parking.
The Pavilion at Wolf Lake is a 5,300-square foot Frank Lloyd Wright-style venue completed in 2011. It is the Main Stage for live entertainment at a variety of events including the annual Festival of the Lakes as well as naturalization ceremonies, fund-raisers and much more, says Jill Gajewski, Wolf Lake Coordinator. This dual stage pavilion boasts state-of-the-art sound and lighting. The outdoor amphitheater seats 15,000.
Activities planned for the 2013 Pavilion season include
• May 18 – The Joe B Motorcycle Ride, an annual fund-raiser for children, with local bands, food and a beer garden
• June 2 – Leon’s Triathlon, now in its third year at the south end of Wolf Lake and highlights swimming, biking and running
• June 5 – Hammond Clark High School’s Class of 2013 graduation
• June 21 – Triple Play Concert #1
• June 28 – Triple Play Concert #2
• July 4 – The Annual Naturalization Ceremony to welcome new U.S. citizens
• July 17 – 21 – The 10th Annual Festival of the Lakes with food, music, carnival rides and much more
• Aug. 2 – The Northwest Indiana Symphony outdoor concert
• Aug. 3 – WHAM Whiting-Hammond After-Midnight Bike Ride
• Aug. 17 – Triple Play Concert #3
• Aug. 28 – Mayor’s Night Out
The Pavilion is also the venue for Radio Disney Movie Night and the Sing-Along Movie Night, she says.
Wolf Lake South is home to boating, kayaking, fishing, windsurfing and a host of outdoor recreational activities. Rentals of canoes, kayaks, paddle boats and paddle boards are available daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day, weather permitting, Gajewski says. The $5 per hour rental includes life jackets and paddles. Call (219) 655-5212 to find out if weather conditions permit rentals.
The Hammond Port Authority locations are connected by more than three miles of Fitness/Bike Trails. These trails wind through Wolf Lake and Forsythe Park, behind Lost Marsh Golf Course on 125th Street and continue along George Lake and over the newly-complete Pedestrian Bridge spanning Indianapolis Boulevard and New York Avenue.
“The Wolf Lake Trail expansion is now completed to 129th Street,” Gajewski says. “The trails go through the reclamation area and are ideal for walking or biking.”
Wolf Lake Aquatic Play Center is open daily in 90-minute sessions starting at 10 a.m. from Memorial Day through Labor Day, weather permitting.
“Enjoy our state of the art facility complete with splash pad, changing rooms, concession stand, picnic areas and new playground,” she says of the facility designed to delight children ages 12 and younger.
The rates per child for the 90-minute sessions are $1 for Hammond residents, $2 for non-Hammond residents from Indiana and $3 for out-of-state residents. A valid ID must be shown for discounted rates.
The Aquatic Play Center can also be rented for parties in two hour sessions, Gajewski says. Party rental rates are $75 for Hammond residents, $100 for non-Hammond residents from Indiana and $125 for out-of-state residents. Food packages are available for an additional $6 per child, she says.
A new Wolf Lake Conservatory is currently being constructed just north of the Aquatic Play Center parking lot
“We plan to grow our own flowers and plants for the park’s planters in this greenhouse,” Gajewski says.
Wolf Lake Picnic Shelters are another perfect spot for gatherings and are available for rental. There’s a 50-person maximum occupancy and a five-hour limit. Hammond residents can rent a shelter for $80. Non-resident rates are $200. There’s also a $10 fee for electricity and a $25 clean-up fee.
Fees charged prior to use of the shelters are payable at the Hammond Port Authority offices, 701 Casino Center Dr.
LOST MARSH GOLF COURSE
With the natural beauty of George Lake as a centerpiece, Lost Marsh Golf Course is home to a world-class 18-hole public golf course and a challenging 9-hole executive course.
Located atop the former Bairstow Slag Mountain at 1001 129th St., Lost Marsh stands as an extraordinary example of brown-field reclamation and habitat restoration. With driving range facilities, pro-shop and lounge, Lost Marsh is an excellent public facility at an affordable price.
“We have great spring rates for 2013 – $35 on weekdays and $40 on weekends with a cart – and we are taking league sign-ups now,” Gajewski says. “There are also residential memberships and corporate memberships available.”
Tee-times can be booked by calling (219) 932-GOLF (4653) or online at www.LostMarshGolf.com.
Registration and orientation for The First Tee program is May 6-10. Weekday lessons begin on May 14 with Saturday lessons starting May 18. Parents must attend orientation in order for their children to attend lessons. For more information, call (219) 228-2528 or visit www.thefirstteehammond.com.
The Lost Marsh Club House debuted in 2009. This Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired prairie style building features lockers and a Heritage Creations-designed pro shop on the first level. The second level is home to a fine-dining restaurant, a bar and a 240-seat banquet facility. Spacious balconies offer outdoors dining experiences.
The Hammond Marina, located along the shores of Lake Michigan, boasts plenty of available deep slip spaces.
“We haven’t raised our slip rates in years and won’t this year either,” Gajewski says. “We’re boater-centric at the Hammond Marina. From patio parties to live bands, we do our very best to make our boater family happy.”
Reserve a slip. Book a sailing lesson. Stop in for a meal at the Ship Store or beat this summer’s heat with a scoop or two of Hershey’s Ice Cream.
Planning a party, shower or meeting? Gajewski recommends the Clipper Room which overlooks the Hammond Marina’s slips.
FOR MORE INFO:
HAMMOND PORT AUTHORITY
701 Casino Center Dr.