Chain O’Lakes State Park has created the sixth challenge at Indiana State Parks and the first that is water-based.
The park’s 9 Lake Challenge tests paddlers by having them cross the park’s nine connected kettle lakes, a feat that covers a total of 5 miles. Those who complete the challenge will get a free sticker that says “I paddled the chain!” and can purchase a challenge T-shirt at the park office.
The 9 Lake Challenge consists of paddling from Sucker Lake to Miller Lake, either all at one time or in sections. Paddle trail maps can be picked up at the park’s boat rental or headquarters. The challenge usually takes two to three hours to complete. Paddlers must take nine photos, one at each lake, and show them to park staff to prove they completed the challenge. The nine photos are:
- Sucker Lake: Photo with Paddle Trail Mile 0 sign
- Long Lake: Photo of Wagon Wheel at ramp
- Dock Lake: Photo of park headquarters on the hill
- Bowen Lake: Selfie on the lake
- Sand Lake: Photo of the beach or evidence of beavers
- Weber Lake: Channel selfie going into Weber Lake
- Mud Lake: Photo of Canoe Camp bridge
- Rivir Lake: Landscape photo
- Miller Lake: Completion photo
Chain’s challenge joins challenges at five other state parks: 3 Dune Challenge at Indiana Dunes, 4 Falls Challenge at Clifty Falls, 5 Mile Challenge at Turkey Run, 6 Ravine Challenge at Shades and Hell’s Point Challenge, which covers 8 miles, at Pokagon.