Can I get something to eat?
Dining Nude: Lake O’ the Woods does not have a restaurant, but if it's a Saturday there is always somebody cooking up a community dinner. Guests are warmly invited and welcome. ($0 - $10, depending what's on the menu) Members take turns at the barbecue grill at 11:30 - 1:00 PM on Saturdays and Sundays with burgers (veg burgers, too) and brats cooked to order ($3-$5). Occasionally there's a Sunday brunch. All events are open to everyone and are posted on the events calendar.
Hydration: Self service soft drinks, bottled water, and an assortment of ice cream bars are available for purchase ($1), so bring a few dollar bills. Look for the coolers on the Clubhouse porch.
Libation beyond soft drinks: BYO. No glass containers anywhere on the grounds.
Dining elsewhere: Quite a few excellent restaurants are located in the city of Valparaiso within a short driving distance form the club. Some deliver. You can come and go as you like during the day - get a gate code from the Gatekeeper or just ring to be buzzed in when you return.
Grocery/DIY: If you want to prepare your own food, there is a small but equipped guest kitchen available at the Clubhouse for all members and guests to use. Dishes, pots, pans, utensils etc. and a few spices are available in the kitchen (clean up after!) Within 5-10 minutes away (by vehicle) there are a few big supermarkets (Strack and van Til, Aldi's, Walmart, Target, etc).
People often get together and go for dinner, either at the club or a nearby restaurant.
I want to stay overnight. Where can I sleep?
Camp/RV: Our club has a limited number of primitive campsites and hookup RV Sites available. Inquire by phone or at check-in.
Cabin or Private Room: Several members have rental rooms and cottages available: Link to rentals
These accommodations are arranged by the individual members, not by LOWC, so please contact the name provided in the rental listings.
We advise that you reserve a room early if you're planning to come on a busy weekend, such as Nude Recreation Week in July.
In Town: There are several motels, hotels, airbnb locations within 10 minutes of LOWC in a variety of price ranges.
What are the customs at LOWC regarding when people are nude?
We are a nudist club, and we expect people to participate in nude recreation together.
Nudity is mandatory in the pool, hot tub, lake, and sauna.
Nudity is permitted (but not mandatory) anywhere on the grounds on the North and South sides of the lake, except at points where you can be seen from the outside of the property (which are clearly marked): The causeway and the dam are two such places, so bring along a towel or wrap to cover up when you're crossing these places on the road and trail. There are a couple of stretches near both the North and South gates where covering up is required. Look for posted signs warning you when to cover up.
We use common sense and cover up if it is chilly, to protect against sunburn, when we are working around tools, etc., and of course, we are dressed when we leave the grounds. Most of us prefer to be nude when it is comfortable to be nude. Women may want to wear bottoms when necessary.
Just remember: wherever you wander, always have a towel or wrap with you to lay down between your bum and the surface on which you're intending to put it!
Those are the bare necessities. We ask you also read the LOWC rules at this link.
Are visitors required to be nude on their first visit?
We understand that social nudity is a new experience for some people. We would prefer for visitors to be nude, but for those who are experiencing social nudity for the first time, we are happy to give them some time to adjust to the experience. If you are concerned about social nudity, feel free to talk it over with a member or the gate keeper and get some advice. Many people who enjoy social nudity found that the first steps were the most challenging. There is no specific rule about how quickly people need to participate. We are interested in having people join us in our activities and we are happy to work with you to make the adjustment.
When you arrive and park, you can either get nude right away and leave everything right there in your car, or walk in clothed and check in first, then "change" in the restroom or at the pool. IOW, take off your clothes anywhere you like :)
Some visitors want to come to a nudist club and watch what others are doing but not participate. Um, voyeurs make everyone uncomfortable, and if this is your intention, we would prefer that you go elsewhere.
The American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR) offers some added insights on first visits to clubs: aanr.com
What's with the Shower Power signs everywhere, and why does it apply to me if I already took a shower today?
The pool and hot tub waters stay healthy longer if everybody takes a soapy shower (all over and under!) every time they enter the pool or hot tub. Yeah, it sounds like a lot, but it really does make a difference. Wash off all sunscreen, TP, lake-water, sweat. This helps conserve resources and ensures the pool and hot tub stay open. It's up to us! That's Shower Power!
Can credit cards be used to pay my grounds fees at LOWC?
Yes. Bring ID. Cash is also acceptable. Keep in mind that Saturday club dinners are cash only (typically $10/person). Water bottles and ice cream are also cash only ($1).
What can my children and grandchildren do at LOWC?
Swim! Swimming in the pool and lake: Sager Lake is a long narrow lake with gently sloping sandy beaches and gets to about 13' deep in the middle. You may bring your own life jackets, PFD, and/or water toys, or use ours (we have lots of sizes). There are plentiful minnows, toads, turtles, snails in the shallows.
Sail! We have a little sunfish sailboat that's ideal for learning. Ask the gatekeeper to find someone to show you how to rig it and give you pointers.
Birdwatch! A heron has made the lake his home and flies from end to end all day. We also have a hawk family who live near the East Pier. Jays, robins, hummingbirds, and plenty of other birds abound.
Play! There is a new playground contraption on the lawn near the clubhouse. Sand castles can be built on the two sandy beaches. Since there isn't a lifeguard, please keep a watchful eye on kids and each other.
Hike! There's a woodsy 45 minute / 1.5 mile hike all the way around the lake. About half of it is next to the lake, the rest is in the woods.
Explore! Some ideas: Look for deer and see if you can spot a fawn. Listen for trains. Explore the gnome village under the big tree near the clubhouse.
Are there any events for children?
Parents of children have worked together to arrange special events for children, and the Nude Week program usually contains events kids enjoy.
Who will greet me when I get there?
During the season, (mid-May to mid-September) there is a gatekeeper on duty who will answer when you ring the gate, welcome you, show you the clubhouse, and will happily arrange for a tour of the grounds if you wish.
What do people do in the clubhouse?
The clubhouse is a gathering area for information conversation, parties and meetings. It offers a sauna, bathrooms and showers, and is near the pool and beach. Some people watch television in the great room or check out the paperbacks on the bookshelves.There are comfortable chairs provided for great conversation areas. The members’ kitchen provides a good space to enjoy meals, either inside or at picnic tables.
What ages are the people will I find at LOWC?
All ages! Most of us are active adults between 18 and 80, and some are retired, some are young families, and a few are multi-generation families. We all enjoy it when members bring their children and grandchildren.
What about fishing?
The lake offers great fishing including bluegills, crappies, and bass. Members and visitors who like to fish can use our rowboats, pedal boats, or canoes, or fish off the fishing piers. There is no launch available, and gasoline motors are not allowed. Electric motors are OK. Bring your own pole and tackle.
I am from far away and plan to visit Chicago. How hard is it to get to LOWC?
Many nudists who are visiting Chicago for business or other reasons or passing through the Midwest stop and visit us. LOWC is less than 90 minutes southeast of downtown Chicago by car (~55 miles), and about 2.5 hours north of Indianapolis. LOWC is less than 30 minutes from the main east-west route through Indiana (I-80) that many people take when traveling across the country. Our grounds hug the border of Hwy 30 in the city of Valparaiso. See Maps and Directions
I don't have a car. Is there any public transportation from Chicago to LOWC?
Unfortunately we aren't on a bus line, but many guests do commute from Chicago and elsewhere. It's just not very direct. Here are some options:
TRAIN: Take the South Shore Line (Schedules and station listings at: www.nictd.com or call (800) 356-2079) starting from Millennium Station in downtown Chicago to Dunes Park Station. ($7 / 1h 20min). From Dunes Park Station you can catch a bus to Valparaiso University, which is about 2 miles from our gate. From there take a ride-share or taxi to our location at 1353 Sager Rd, Valparaiso, IN 46383
CAB: Crazy Cabs (tel: 219-462-4350) in Valparaiso can take you from Dunes Park Station to our location at 1353 Sager Rd, Valparaiso, IN 46383 (approx 17 miles, $38.00 one way).
BUS: Chicago Dash express bus - express bus service from downtown Chicago to Valparaiso and Valparaiso to downtown Chicago. See website at http://www.chicagodash.com/ or call (219) 462-1161 for service hours and pricing. You can call a cab to get from the bus station to LOWC.
Are single individuals welcome?
Yes - Our members include couples, families and singles, but the majority are couples and families. Single visitors are welcome. This is a great place to enjoy the sunshine, play volleyball, make friends, swim and boat in the lake, but it is not a good place to find someone to date.
Do you have free WiFi?
Yes, at the Clubhouse only, but it's of very limited use. Inquire with the Gatekeeper.
I drive a truck. Is there truck parking at LOWC?
Parking and RV spots are limited, and LOWC is unable to accommodate large trucks and/or tractors at our clubhouse or RV spots. Trucks can be parked at Wal-Mart, which is about 5 minutes away. You will then need to call a cab or friend in the area for transportation to the club (see above for taxi info). Pick-up trucks used for personal transportation are welcome in the parking lot.
Are there any cautions I should be aware of?
We are a family-oriented nudist club. We strive to create a safe friendly environment for people of all stripes to enjoy naturism free from stares, come-ons, and even compliments. Appropriate wholesome behavior is expected at all times. You could be escorted to your vehicle and asked not to return if anyone is made uncomfortable by behavior that is probably best suited for a different type of club. Visitors are encouraged to tell the gatekeeper about anyone who is making them uncomfortable.
No photography! No exceptions. Like virtually all nudist clubs, camera-capable glasses, tablets, cell phones, cameras, drones, and any other camera capable devices are not allowed. Any device with picture taking capability must be left in your vehicle. If you must have your cell phone with you, a bright orange sticker must be clearly visible on the phone or device camera eye. Ask the Gatekeeper for the sticker at check-in.
Sometimes we have mosquitos in the evenings. Bring repellant.