Hikes in Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

There are sand dunes on the Great Lakes? There sure are, and Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore was established so that these dunes could be preserved and explored. The park is located on the shore of Lake Michigan at the north end of Indiana near the cities of Gary and Michigan City. The park was created in 1966 in a congressional compromise that set aside land for the park while creating the neighboring Port of Indiana. The 15,000-acre park includes 15 miles of scenic waterfront on Lake Michigan as well as dunes, bogs, and marshes that represent a significant habitat for wildlife.

The park’s beautiful beaches are perfect for picnicking, especially at sunset when the skyline of Chicago is illuminated to the west.

Where to camp: Dunewood Campground has 78 first-come first-serve sites and a full list of amenities.

Where to hike: There are several trails to explore within the park including the self-guided Dune Succession Trail, which depicts the ecological transition from sand dune to forest on the shore of Lake Michigan.

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
A summer sunset at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

 

hikespeak
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Dune Succession Trail West Beach hike beach Lake Michigan
Dune Succession Trail in the West Beach area of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore offers a mile-long look at the stages of dune development, starting with a beach on the shore of Lake Michigan and ending with a boardwalk through a forest that has risen from the sand. There is 125 feet of elevation gain along the loop, covered by 250 boardwalk steps. In addition to the... Read more.
By: hikespeak Last updated: September 4, 2013
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore camping Dunewood Campground
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore protects 15,000 acres of lakefront, dunes, bogs, and marshes on the edge of Lake Michigan in northeastern Indiana. Dunewood Campground is the principal campground in the park with 78 sites (53 drive-up sites and 25-walk-in sites). The first-come first-serve campground is open seasonally from April to October. Sites are $18 per night (as... Read more.
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By: hikespeak Last updated: September 4, 2013