Deep River County Park

About Deep River County Park

  • Deep River County Park Wood's Historic Grist Mill area:
    9410 Old Lincoln Highway
    Hobart, IN 46342
    • Park open 7 a.m. to dusk, all year round
  • Visitor Center General Store and Wood's Historic Grist Mill (May to October)
    • Phone: 219-947-1958
    • Park maintenance phone: 219-942-6710
  • Deep River County Park Big Maple Lake area:
    7302 Ainsworth Road
    Hobart, IN 46342
    • Open for fishing, hiking and walking, and equestrian activities. Hayrides and bonfires held here in the fall. 
  • Deep River County Line Entrance
    7510 County Line Rd,
    Hobart, IN 46342
    • Home to two picnic shelters, a playground, and a little free library. Pit toilets, and trail access available.
  • Deep River Waterpark:
    9001 East U.S. Highway 30 (4.5 miles east of I-65 on Route 30)
    • Open Memorial Day through Labor Day (closed weekdays the end of August)
    • Phone: 219-947-7850
  • Sulky Track Area
    • The Sulky Track area of the park is currently closed to vehicle entry. 
    • Members of the Deep River RC flying club may contact park staff for entry. 
    • Hikers and riders may still pass through on foot or horseback. 

Directions to Deep River County Park

For the park's historic area travel U.S 30 to Grand Boulevard (Route 51) then north to the first stop sign (Old Lincoln Highway). Turn right (east) onto Old Lincoln Highway then 2 1/2 miles to the park. Located at intersection of Old Lincoln Highway and (Lake and Porter) County Line Road.

For Big Maple Lake area: From I-65 and Route 30 travel east about 4 miles to Grand Boulevard (US 51) then north 1.2 miles to Ainsworth Road (just north of the train tracks) then east for 1/2 mile. Entrance is on the left.

  • GPS:
    • Deep River Wood's Grist Mill: 41.475944,-87.222285
    • Deep River County Line Road picnic area: 41.483097,-87.22008
    • Big Maple Lake area: 41.491101, -87.248872
    • Deep River Waterpark: 41.47063,-87.230138
Deep River Mill

Related Documents

Welcome to Deep River Park

At the mention of Lake County Indiana many think of the steel mills and sprawling refineries. But the landscape was far from that when John Wood first arrived in the county in 1835. Then the area was one of virgin forests, rolling prairies and impenetrable swamps. It was a far cry from the Massachusetts he had left. Lake County was still the American frontier, while the area around Danvers, MA, Wood's hometown, was developing into one of the nation's major industrial areas.

Deep River Woods
Deep River Mill Landscape

John Wood traveled back east for his family and upon his return to Lake County in 1837, built a simple up and down sawmill on the banks of Deep River. The following year he constructed a grist mill. These two operations represent the first industrial complex in Lake County. While there's a big difference between a simple sawmill and a roaring blast furnace, both represent the technology and industry of their respective times. And, they both accomplish the same task - taking raw materials and turning them into useful products on a large scale.

Today, Deep River County Park encompasses more than 1,200 acres on both the south and north sides of U.S Highway 30 about 4.5 miles east of Interstate 65 in Merrillville. Deep River Waterpark is located on the south area of the park site.

Deep River

The historic area of the serene park stretches along the Deep River corridor for about four miles with trails beginning behind the Historic Wood's Grist Mill. The original wood frame structure was later rebuilt of brick in 1876 by Nathan Wood, John's son, as a custom flouring mill. That's the building you see today.

Deep River
Deep River Mill Grinder

Mill

The Lake County Parks and Recreation Board acquired the site and renovated the mill, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 10, 1975. Renovated in 1976, Wood's Mill is surrounded by gardens, a wedding gazebo, a visitor center, and Grinder Field, home of the Deep River Grinders historic base ball team.

Wood's Grist Mill stands as a reminder of the great industrial strength of Northwest Indiana. Today corn meal is ground using the large mill stones from May through October (days and times vary).

Deep River Inside Mill
Deep River Church

Visitor Center

Next door, the Deep River Visitor Center, housed in the remains of a 1904 church, offers a variety of specialty items and hand made crafts. Deep River's own pure maple syrup is available during Maple Syrup Time during the first of March each year.

Nature Trails

The nature trails along the river connect the historic areas of the park with a picnic area on County Line Road and, further north, the sulky track area and across Ainsworth Road the overlook and Big Maple Lake. Many of these areas provide a picturesque view of woods and natural habitat.

Deep River Trail

Other Great Features of Deep River Park

  • Barbeque facilities
  • Barrier free toilet
  • Children's summer programs
  • Cross country ski trails (no rentals)
  • Fishing (Indiana waters)
  • Full service Waterpark
  • General Store (May-October)
  • Hayrides (tractor driven, September and October)
  • Hiking trails
  • Historical buildings
  • Horseback riding (no rentals and not in historic area)


  • Interpretative staff
  • Open play fields
  • Picnic shelters
  • Picnic tables
  • Playground
  • Recreational equipment rental
  • Sand volleyball at Waterpark
  • Toilets (flush)
  • Toilets (pit)
  • Volleyball standards
Deep River Bridge
Deep River Toad