The Bailly Homestead
/ Chellberg Farm
Trail, along with the Little Calumet River / Mnok Prairie Trail and Bailly Cemetery Trail
, reveal the rich natural diversity that has drawn people to this area for over 10,000 years. Run through a forest dominated by maple, beech, basswood, and oak trees. Follow a stretch of the Little Calumet River, once a critical transportation route for early regional travelers, and explore the recently restored Mnok Prairie for a glimmer of the vast stretches of pre-settlement grasslands.
Visit the Bailly Homestead
and Chellberg Farm
to glimpse how families lived and farmed in Northwest Indiana.
The Bailly Homestead
, a National Historic Landmark (1962), was the home of Honore Gratien Joseph Bailly de Messein (1774 - 1835). Bailly played a role in the development of the Calumet Region of northern Indiana. He was an independent trader in the extensive fur-trading network that spread from Montreal to Louisiana, and ultimately to Europe. Joseph Bailly was one of the earliest settlers in northern Indiana. In 1822, Bailly set up his fur trading post at the crossroads of several important trails. The Bailly Homestead
complex is the last remaining site of its nature in the Calumet Region.
In the 1870s, Swedish immigrants Anders and Johanna "Kjellberg" bought 80 acres to establish a modest family farm. They were the first of three generations of the Chellberg Family to make their living here. In the 1930s, the Chellbergs started to tap the many maple trees on their property for the production of maple syrup.
The Annual Maple Sugar Time event in March (first 2 weekends) features the evolution of "maple sugaring" in Northwest Indiana from an early American Indian method, to the pioneer method of boiling sap in open iron kettles, to the relatively modern commercial method of producing syrup. Indiana Dunes National Park is the only National Park Service location that makes maple syrup.
There are 3 covered picnic shelters near the parking lot that are wheelchair accessible. The shelters are reservable at recreation.gov
starting six months in advance of the desired use date. Cooking fires at the picnic shelters are permitted in the provided grills or an approved carry-in grill. An approved grill is a noncombustible container with an enclosed bottom and enclosed sides with a minimum depth of 2 inches. Charcoal must be cooled and safely disposed of in a noncombustible container or removed from the area.