Explore the most popular trail running trails in Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
2 days ago

Short trek to reach the beach. Nice mix of woods and the sandy dunes.

hiking
15 days ago

Ticks are out and about. Be careful. Ended up with one yesterday.

Nice trail and close to Chicago.

Beautiful trail with part of it that runs along the beach.

Good hiking and quiet. Great for my dog.

Absolutely love this trail! I do this one almost every week when it’s nice!! ❤️

hiking
1 month ago

Nice trail and scenery. If you’re afraid of snakes though avoid it because there is seriously a billion there including water moccasins.

hiking
1 month ago

Very nice. Very pretty. Dunes were a little rough because I haven’t hiked in a while. You will get all the sand in your shoes.

My first dunes hike. Was challenging but exciting!

hiking
6 months ago

Great trail. Paths clearly marked and great scenery. I would avoid climbing the dunes if you have physical restrictions, but fabulous view from the tops looking down on the lake...

hiking
6 months ago

This trail is awesome and gives you an awesome view of the lake from the top of a dune

Pretty Trail with great tree-top views. I wish there were less signs on the trail but still enjoyed it!

Nice ❤️

hiking
8 months ago

Short but challenging.

on Cowles Bog Trail

hiking
8 months ago

nice trail but lots of traffic

Nice easy hike with views of Dunes, Marshes and forest. A few climbs but nothing really difficult. Tasty sassafras, too!

9 months ago

walked it in full sun, pleasant walk with my 4 lb kitten. He had a good time to, 4 months old. 4 dogs a kind the beach all well behaved, great day, nice folks scattered on the beaches that are a little hard to get to by car.

hiking
9 months ago

This is a nice trail. If your out of shape be prepared to be sore, it's quite an up hill climb. Great to take your dogs to, to tire them out and get rid of some energy. I have heard of coyotes being out here so make sure to keep dogs leashed.

hiking
9 months ago

Beautiful trail! Good changes of scenery, all in my backyard!

Liked it and hated it. It's been decades since i've even been on this much sand, but i can handle hills & stairs, so i wanted to try the 3 Dune Challenge.
These Dunes kicked my butt!! I'm an older heavy set guy that had a heck of a time trying to climb the dunes. Every step up the dune resulted in a foot sliding back a half step or more. Took me 3 times as long to climb a dune than i expected. And Going down the 2nd dune, Mt. Holden, i slid 2-3 feet for every step down.
This was one loaded challenge. It was not as easy as others said. I'm sure that's due to my size working against me trying to climb. Thankfully after the 2nd Dune there is a shortcut trail back to the start by the Nature Center. The Dune Challenge is on Trail 8, Trail 7 splits thru the middle, simple trail.

hiking
10 months ago

Turn off Hwy 12 when you see the Dune Acres sign. The parking lot is on your left immediately after crossing the train tracks. There's another smaller lot if you continue driving to the gate to your right. Very tight lot with one way driving.
This trail will take you past ponds & bogs to Lake Michigan. It would be more scenic, except for the Steel Mill within sight & sound of it! It does give you a small taste of what NW Indiana was like many years ago.
The trail is strenuous when you get to the lake. Otherwise, easy to moderate.

hiking
10 months ago

Heavily trafficked trail mainly due to beachgoers. Doing the large loop can be a challenge due to roots, sand and a copious amount of bugs. Very steep climb leaving the beach area so be prepared for that if you're not in shape. I often see quite a few people that were not quite prepared for the challenge.

hiking
10 months ago

Love that you end up on the beach! Awesome trail bring lunch and eat it in the top of the hill with great views!

11 months ago

Nice trail that ends at a fairly secluded beach

11 months ago

I run this trail a few times a month. I recommend late winter through late spring and after labor day for the least congestion and to avoid the biting flies. The orchids in the bog bloom between the end of February and the second week of March.

Great Park. This trail visits the shore line but also climbs the dunes

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Great trail but there a lots more to explore

More horses than humans - soft trail even more so due to heavy equestrian use. At about mile 3 there is a 1.7 mile spur back to parking. It is totally impassable due to flooding; be prepared to back track or hop on to surface streets (hwy 12 near).

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