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.