Lakefront & Riverwalk Paved Trail
1.5 miles, 39 feet of elevation gain, 1% average grade, 6% maximum grade
Average hiking time: 45 minutes
This featured hike is a loop style trail and is wheelchair accessible. Starting at the pavilion, pick up the trail heading south on the east side of the road off the traffic circle. The trail will wind through restored dune habitat. After approximately a half a mile, the trail will cross the road and head back north along the Burns Waterway. At roughly the one-mile mark, the trail will turn right heading past the pavilion entrance and down to the breakwater. Take the breakwater out to the end to enjoy the splendor of Lake Michigan. Lastly, take the breakwater back to the pavilion.
History and Background
Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk was opened in October 2008. The redevelopment of the site, formerly used by a steel corporation as settling ponds for industrial byproduct and a sewage treatment facility, is a successful model of brownfield reclamation. The land, buildings, and facilities at the site are owned by the National Park Service and operated in partnership with the City of Portage. To learn more about public programs offered there, contact the Portage Parks and Recreation Department at (219) 762-1675, extension 301.
The south parking lots are open at all times to fishermen in possession of an after-hours fishing permit. The riverwalk and breakwater walkway areas are closed to public use from the last Monday of November through March 1st each year and at other times when ice and snow are present.