Cowles Bog Trail

MODERATE 95 reviews

Cowles Bog Trail is a 4.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Chesterton, Indiana that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

4.3 miles
213 feet

kid friendly


cross country skiing


nature trips


trail running





wild flowers





over grown


washed out

no dogs

1 month ago

Pretty decent trail with a good amount of elevation however the factories nearby emit lots of fumes/smells. I developed a sinus headache and hurried to complete the walk.

4 months ago

I loved this hike! Beautiful, interesting woods along a swamp with lots of wildflowers and hills A few steep, sandy dune climbs, but altogether not too bad. Wonderful stop at the Lake Michigan beach about half way through the hike.

5 months ago

Bring bug spray! What a cool hike. Several different ecosystems, a pretty tough sandy incline, lots of wildlife, and plenty of isolated beach. My first hike in Indiana and I can’t wait to go back!

6 months ago

This is a nice trail out to the beach through woods and the bog. Insect repellant is prob a must...I mean it is a bog after all. I didn't have a problem with bugs with repellant on. The first mile or so is shaded with packed sand, providing a stable walking surface, and also a raised boardwalk through the bog. As you make your way toward the beach, the hills get steeper and the sand gets increasingly loose, making it a challenging hike. The views are well worth the dune hike, and I'd prefer to hike here to this beach over going to the crowded beach anyday. Great trail.

6 months ago

This is one of my favorite trails in the area! If you go in the summer time, you can eat some of the blackberries!

7 months ago

Perfect trail end with an excellent view of Lake Michigan. Bring your lunch, there is a nice shaded spot!

8 months ago

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

8 months ago

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

Nice trail and close to Chicago.

8 months ago

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

9 months 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.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

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...

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

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

Friday, September 29, 2017

Nice ❤️

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Monday, September 04, 2017

nice trail but lots of traffic

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

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.

Monday, July 10, 2017

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.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

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

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Nice trail that ends at a fairly secluded beach

Friday, June 09, 2017

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.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Very fun trails and a beautiful view of Lake Michigan!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Beautiful view just a little hard to get there

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Didn't go down to the beach as all signs said it closed. Enjoyable hike thru the marsh- felt more like New England at times. Saw a pheasant, no other wildlife. Easy hike.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Enjoy running these trails. Can do many loops to add mileage. Be ready to climb some dunes.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Nice trail, not to hard with the exception of the dune by the beach. I used this as a warm-up for some of the other trails in the park. If the weather is nice you can jump in the lake for a swim and cool off before heading back.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

This is a great trail to do if you're looking for a little exercise as there are some good, steep hills as you near the beach. Mosquitos weren't terrible, but I'd still recommend bug repellent. Oh, and prepare to get a lot of sand in your shoes!

trail running
Saturday, August 06, 2016

This is a great trail. You can make it different distances with a couple cut through trails. Going all the way to the beach is fun - big hill just before the beach.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Excellent variety between bog, hardwood forest and dune environments. Throw in Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline as a bonus.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Nice view from top of dune. Great variety of foliage. Pretty beach.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Great hike! loved the break in-between, exploring the beach before heading back into the woods :)

Load More