Potato Creek State Park Lodge

The new lodge at Potato Creek State Park will bring people to the heart of nature and the world of birds, blending the line between architecture and park. The new four-season facility will offer access to numerous year-round activities throughout the park including hiking, boating, ice fishing, cross-country skiing, bird watching, and more.


State of Indiana, Department of Natural Resources and Department of Administration

Project Size:

18 acres


North Liberty, IN



Under Construction


Landscape Architecture

In Association With:

Hafer, BRP Architects, Interior Image Group, JPS Consulting Engineers, Water Technology, Inc., Reitano Design Group



Our design team was challenged to design a700-foot-long building without obstructing the natural character of Potato Creek State Park, featuring a plethora of wetlands, lakes, forests, and prairies which are used as migratory habitat by 325 species of birds annually. The area identified as the future lodge site in a 2001 planning study was a grassy picnic area on the south shore of Lake Worster Potato Creek State Park near North Liberty, IN in St. Joseph County.

The design approach for such a location required the careful integration of the existing forest with man-made features. We preserved the natural watersheds by carefully strategizing distances from the lodge to the shore of the lake itself. A native plant palette reinforces the natural beauty of the area. Over four acres of land will be seeded with native grasses and wildflowers, planted with over 500 native trees and 1,000 native shrubs. In order to ensure access for all, we were charged with negotiating the twenty-four-foot vertical elevation between the lake and the lodge to make all the path routes ADA compliant while balancing exceptional views between the outdoors and building.

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Once completed, the lodge will feature 120 guestrooms, an indoor aquatic center, dining areas, and a conference center. Outdoor amenities will include a terrace overlooking the lake, a formal event lawn, a lake boardwalk, fire pits, an amphitheater, boat slips, a playground, and paved walking paths weaving through the native landscape. This will be the first Indiana State Park lodge to be built since 1939, and the first to be in northwest Indiana. It is expected that the project will bring several thousand additional visitors annually to surrounding local communities to experience this remarkable place.  

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